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June 2008

Burglary charge filed

IOWA CITY -- On Friday, 6-27-2008 at 2:57am, Iowa City and University Heights Police responded to a burglary alarm at SE Jr High School, 2501 Bradford St. Upon arrival, officers located a window in which forced entry was made to the building. Officers searched the building but did not locate an intruder. Minor damage was done to a door to the computer room.

On Saturday, 6-28-2008 at 3:51am, Iowa City police officers responded to another alarm at SE Jr High School. Officers again located a window in which forced entry had been made to the building. After establishing a secure perimeter for the building one of the officers was able to observe a person in a lower hallway of the building. This person was observed leaving the building and attempted to flee after seeing the officer. The subject was apprehended after a short foot chase.

DaQuay Campbell, age 14, of Iowa City was charged with Criminal Trespass and 5th Degree Criminal Mischief for the incident on June 27th. Both charges are Simple Misdemeanors. He was charged with 5th Degree Criminal Mischief and 3rd Degree Burglary for the incident on June 28th. In the 2nd incident he was found to be in possession of property from the school. 3rd Degree burglary is a Class “D” Felony.

New 4thFEST Parade Route & Information

The annual 4th of July Parade in Coralville, IA will be held at 10:00 am on Independence Day. The parade route has been shortened this year as parade organizers have redirected the route to turn south at 12th Avenue off of 7th Street before heading west on 5th Street. In the past, the route went east on 7th Street to 10th Avenue. A parade map can be seen below.

Please visit for more information on 4thFEST 2008, including the schedule of events and activities, list of food vendors, parade details, and much more.

Did the local liberal media report this?

REPORT:  Personal income increases

Personal income increased $225.7 billion, or 1.9 percent, and disposable personal income (DPI) increased $600.3 billion, or 5.7 percent, in May, according to the Bureau of Economic Analysis.  Personal consumption expenditures (PCE) increased $77.4 billion, or 0.8 percent.  In April, personal income increased $33.5 billion, or 0.3 percent, DPI increased $39.8 billion, or 0.4 percent, and PCE increased $41.1 billion, or 0.4 percent, based on revised estimates.

Real disposable income increased 5.3 percent in May, compared with an increase of 0.1 percent in April.  Real PCE increased 0.4 percent, compared with an increase of 0.2 percent.

Private wage and salary disbursements increased $15.9 billion in May, in contrast to a decrease of $9.6 billion in April.  Goods-producing industries' payrolls increased $1.7 billion, in contrast to a decrease of $6.8 billion; manufacturing payrolls increased $1.1 billion, in contrast to a decrease of $2.7 billion.  Services-producing industries' payrolls increased $14.3 billion, in contrast to a decrease of $2.9 billion.  Government wage and salary disbursements increased $3.7 billion,
compared with an increase of $4.0 billion.

County Supervisors vote to put $20 million land grab on ballot

Johnson_countyDespite the obvious need to focus all efforts and spending priorities in the county on flood recovery, the Johnson County Board of Supervisors voted Thursday to place a $20 million Conservation Board Bond referendum on the November general election ballot.

Concocted under the guise of preservation last October, the bond referendum is being pushed by the Johnson County Conservation Board, which wants to take millions of dollars away from the residents of Johnson County, so they can buy up undeveloped land in rural areas.  The questions of exactly what land, why, when, how that land will be maintained and at what further cost to the taxpayer in detail remain unanswered.

Project details pertaining to the Conservation Board's desires have been hard to come by, and when asked back in March if some specifics could be reviewed regarding the polling data the board used to push this issue, Johnson County Conservation Board Executive Director Harry Graves responded with, "That is proprietary information that belongs to the Trust for Public Land."

Why the secrecy?

Despite resident objections to the vaguely proposed land buys and passing up the opportunity to publicly ask the Conservation Board for specific details about the issue, all members of the Johnson County Board of Supervisors voted on Thursday to proceed with placing the Conservation Board Bond Referendum on the ballot. 

This was not an issue developed through a petition drive by residents.  In other words, it's not a priority for most residents of Johnson County.  It's a Johnson County government WANT, and not a true need.  With that in mind and according to Iowa Code, since the Board of Supervisors themselves approved of this measure in the spring, they had the power and the obligation to the people to dismiss the ballot language and approval of the measure with the vote on Thursday.  They were asked to table the proposal.  They arrogantly chose not to exercise that authority.

In considering the massive flood damage in Johnson County, the Supervisors have once again demonstrated a set of priorities that do not meet the needs of Johnson County residents.  The Board prefers its pet projects over the people. 

Johnson County Supervisors also appear to lack a backbone.  According to Supervisor Pat Harney:  "It was quite clear that if the board were to vote against this that there would be a petition submission which would place this on the ballot."

Notes:  So let the process work Pat.  So what if there is a petition drive?  Wouldn't that tell the real story of whether or not the good folks of Johnson County want to spend $20 million of their hard earned money on a proposal you and your cohorts won't define? 

What Pat claims is also like a football fan saying in early January, "Well, the New England Patriots are undefeated, just give them the Super Bowl trophy, there's no need to play the game."  For you non-football fans, the then undefeated and supposed favorite New England Patriots lost the Super Bowl to the underdog New York Giants. 

So it seems that even at the local level, politicians cater to the special interests of a few.  In other words, screw the flood recovery needs and fiscal concerns with that issue, let's ask Johnson County taxpayers to cough up $20 million for pet projects that we arrogantly don't care to table for a later time. 

And again, so what if the Supervisors would have said no to ballot approval? It's their job to scrutinize proposals, it's their job to properly inform voters, especially when the proposal requires taxpayers to cough up millions of dollars and on this one Supervisors haven't scrutinized diddly-squat.  Do they have something to be afraid of or is there some backroom deal in the works? Do Supervisors even know how to say no?

REPORT: Growth in Gross Domestic Product

Real gross domestic product -- the output of goods and services produced by labor and property located in the United States -- increased at an annual rate of 1.0 percent in the first quarter of 2008 (that is, from the fourth quarter to the first quarter), according to final estimates released by the Bureau of Economic Analysis.  In the fourth quarter, real GDP increased 0.6 percent.

The GDP estimates released Thursday are based on more complete source data than were available for the preliminary estimates issued last month.  In the preliminary estimates, the increase in real GDP was 0.9 percent.

The increase in real GDP in the first quarter primarily reflected positive contributions from personal consumption expenditures (PCE) for services, exports of goods and services, and federal government spending that were partly offset by negative contributions from residential fixed investment and PCE for durable goods.

Editor's Note:  Positive growth folks, nothing at all to brag about, but positive growth nonetheless.  So don't buy into the doom-and-gloom, the economy is in the toilet claims by Democrat candidates for office.

City of Iowa City Parking and Transit Director to Retire

Joe Fowler, Director of Parking and Transit for the City of Iowa City, will retire on June 27, 2008, after over 38 years of continuous service with the City. Fowler began his career with the City on January 2, 1970, with his appointment as a patrol officer by then Police Chief Patrick McCarney. He resigned his position in the Police Department on August 1, 1978, to become the City’s Parking Systems Supervisor. In October 1993, the Mass Transit Department and the Parking Division were combined to form a new Department of Parking and Transit, and Fowler was appointed department Director. He retires after having managed the Parking and Transit operations in that capacity for nearly 15 years.

City of Iowa City Personnel Administrator to Retire

Sylvia Mejia, Personnel Administrator for the City of Iowa City, will retire on June 27, 2008, after 29 years of service with the City. Ms. Mejia began her career with the City in 1979 as a temporary clerical employee in the Human Relations Department. On February 29, 1980, she was appointed to the permanent position of Secretary II in that same department. On July 1, 1981, she was promoted to the position of Personnel Generalist. In an August, 1986 reorganization, the Human Relations office became a City division within the office of the City Manager. Ms. Mejia was named Personnel Administrator on August 27, 1986. She has directed the City’s Personnel services in that capacity for the past 22 years.

New Johnson County Disaster Relief Center Opens in Coralville

CORALVILLE -- A second Johnson County Disaster Relief Recovery Center opened Thursday in Coralville to assist anyone whose home, apartment or business was damaged by the recent severe storms, tornadoes or floods.

The center is in Kirkwood Elementary School, 1401 Ninth Street.  It will be open daily from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. until further notice.

Johnson County's other center is at the Johnson County Fairgrounds, 4260 Oak Crest Hill Road, S.E., Iowa City.  It is also open daily from 8 a.m to 7 p.m.

To register for FEMA assistance, call toll-free 1-800-621-FEMA.

Curfew and All Evacuation Orders Lifted

IOWA CITY -- The Mayor’s Proclamation of Civil Emergency and the curfew order issued on June 12, 2008 is WITHDRAWN for the City of Iowa City effective immediately; and

The evacuation orders issued on June 12, 2008 are hereby WITHDRAWN for all of Iowa City and for all hours.

Persons enter flood affected areas at their own risk.

The lifting of any mandatory evacuation order does not ensure the stability of any structure. The potential for multiple hazards still exists in the area (e.g. flood debris, hidden hazards, unstable ground).

All structures within flood affected areas must be evaluated for both structural and utility integrity prior to re-occupancy. If you are not located in a mandatory evacuated area and wish to schedule an inspection please call the Housing & Inspection Department at 356-5130.

Shoplifter winds up dead

At approximately 8:28 P.M. on Sunday, June 22, 2008, Coralville Police Officers responded to a call from Hy-Vee regarding a shoplifter running from the store. Marcus Todd Edwards, 37, of Orlando, Florida was detained and taken to the Coralville Police Department. Shortly after arrival at the Police Department, Officers noted that he was becoming less responsive and requested an ambulance.  Johnson County Ambulance Service personnel transported Mr. Edwards to University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics, where he was pronounced dead.

Chief Bedford has requested the Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation to investigate the circumstances surrounding the death of Mr. Edwards.