Controlled Burn at Prairie Park Fishery Planned March 21

Cedar Rapids, IA –  The City of Cedar Rapids will conduct a controlled burn at Prairie Park Fishery, 2125 Otis Rd SE, on Wednesday, March 21. The burn will begin at 10:00 a.m., however the park will be closed to the public for preparation beginning at 5:00 a.m. and will be reopened following the burn operation.

The burn is an important and beneficial tool for native prairie management and health. It is one of the best methods to control invasive plants, saplings and woody vegetation, and significantly benefits native prairie ecosystems. Parks staff, trained in wild fire management, has partnered with the Cedar Rapids Fire Department to conduct the burn.

Spring Planting Time - Bachelor on the Cheap

Mike Thayer 2016 (2)By Mike Thayer

It's that time of year again!  The temporary "pop-up" garden shops are getting set up in grocery and hardware store parking lots and I'm ready to get my hands dirty planting seeds.

I really enjoy gardening, being able to just walk out my door and harvest some tomatoes, lettuce, onions and an assortment of other veggies for a salad or a side dish is one of those priceless, simple pleasures of life for me.

The best part of having a garden, it doesn't get any fresher than that!

I like gardening so much, I even did an indoor gardening project this winter, but enjoying my hobby out in nice weather is SO much better.

20180320_081009If you're into gardening, now is the time to be planting seeds indoors to transplant in the backyard and/or patio garden after that last frost.  You don't need a bunch of gardening gadgets or containers to get started either, just a couple of cardboard egg cartons and some potting soil will do.  Pictured right, three eggs cartons, 'seed starting' with parsley, cilantro and Roma tomato.  In other cartons I've started lettuces, peas, green beans, cucumbers not in an egg carton, an avocado tree!

I'm going to have a bunch of great looking starter plants in no time and I'll be saving a lot of money vs. buying starter plants at one of those pop-up garden shops to boot!  That's Bachelor on the Cheap friendly.

And about that last frost, here's a planting guide to help you get started, as well as a hardiness zone map to help you determine just what kind of plants will thrive outdoors where you live.

Happy Planting! 


Unattended Death Investigation Update

CEDAR RAPIDS, IA – The individual found deceased outside of 505 33rd Avenue SW at 2:38 p.m. on Sunday, March 18th has been identified as Joseph Frank Botello, DOB/04-16-1940, age 77. 

Investigators are waiting for autopsy results for the cause and manner of death to assist with further investigation and follow up regarding this unattended death.

No further information is available at this time.

Shooting Incident at 639 40th Street SE

CEDAR RAPIDS, IA – Police officers were dispatched to 639 40th Street SE this morning at 4:40 a.m. for the report of a shooting.  Officers arrived on scene and found a 35-year old male inside the residence who had sustained several gunshot wounds.  The victim was transported to the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics.  The injuries do not appear to be life-threatening.

Officers also located a 30-year old male outside of the residence in the street with what appears to be a self-inflicted gunshot wound.   This individual, who is believed to have shot the victim inside of the house, was deceased.

Based upon the investigation at this point, this shooting incident appears to be a domestic situation.  The 30-year old with the self-inflicted gunshot wound had a prior relationship with the female occupant of the residence.

There were several children inside of the residence at the time of the shooting. None of the children or the female were injured.

The names of the individuals involved are being withheld pending notification of family members. 

Disclaimer:  Any arrest information included above is based on the legal conclusion that, as with any criminal case, a charge is merely an accusation and a defendant is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty.

Trailer orders remained robust in February

Trailer orders for the month of February were off the charts, with the market “red-hot” according to one analyst, with the industry’s order-board up more than 20% above this point in 2017.

Preliminary trailer order figures for February from ACT Research hover around 33,000 units, while research firm FTR Transportation Intelligence pegged its preliminary estimate 32,000 units.

“Fleets continue to place orders at a record pace, as last month was the strongest February order volume in industry history,” noted Frank Maly, ACT’s director of CV transportation analysis and research, in a statement.


Lanes reduced on Park Road for work on new bridge

Beginning at 8 a.m. on Tuesday, March 20, 2018, Park Road Bridge will be reduced to one lane in each direction in the westbound lanes. 

The eastbound lanes will be used to stage concrete trucks and other equipment needed for a concrete deck pour on the new Park Road Bridge. Traffic is expected to return to normal by Tuesday evening. 

The Iowa City Gateway Project is a flood mitigation effort that is elevating Dubuque Street while raising and replacing the Park Road Bridge. To receive project updates, sign-up for City of Iowa City e-subscriptions, and follow the City of Iowa City on Facebook and Twitter using #ICgateway. To learn more visit

Video Update: Yard & Food Waste Collection, Home Improvement Loans and more

Iowa City Update is a weekly video featuring City of Iowa City projects, programs and events. Topics this week include details on yard waste collection, home improvement loans and more. Click the image below to watch Iowa City Update.

Iowa City Update

Yard and Food Waste Collection

As yard and food waste collection picks back up again, make sure you know all the guidelines to take advantage of this City service.

Community Edible Forest Gardening

Learn about a gardening opportunity to help prepare the Wetherby Edible Forest for spring.

Compost Available

Discover how you can take your garden or yard project to the next level with the help of the Iowa City Landfill and Recycling Center.

Home Improvement Loans

Watch to learn about this income eligible loan program that offers residents a chance to tackle home improvement projects.

Iowa City Update - Your source for Iowa City news and information.

Iowa City Fire Department Responds to Structure Fire

Iowa City Fire Department responded to a structure fire at 2160 Davis

On Sunday March 18 at 1952 hours, the Iowa City Fire Department responded to a structure fire at 2160 Davis. Firefighters arrived and found smoke and flames coming from the residence. Firefighters quickly entered the fire building and the adjoining residence at 2162 Davis and confirmed all occupants were out of the structure.  The fire was brought under control in about 30 minutes.

The Iowa City Fire Department was aided by the Iowa City Police Department, Johnson County Ambulance Service,  Red Cross, and Mid American Energy.

The cause remains under investigation.

Plan your menus - Bachelor on the Cheap

Mike Thayer 2016 (2)By Mike Thayer

Meal planning is like a game of checkers or chess - you need to be thinking a couple moves ahead.

Sure, there are times when you'll need to be impromptu, to adapt and overcome when life isn't going particularly right on a given day, but make no mistake, winging it and time management don't go together over the long term.

When you're making dinner, cook more than you'll need, then you'll have something to eat for lunch the next day.  When you're making a mid-morning snack, think ahead to what you'll snack on that afternoon and prep it right then and there.  Doing little things like that can help overcome whatever might interfere with your day....  You're already prepped and ready because you were thinking a couple moves ahead.

Another way to meal plan is to prep a bunch of meals for the coming week.  I love to grill, so on my days off from work, you'll probably find me lighting the charcoal, not for just one meal, but several.  I don't just grill a few things, I grill in big batches, why not, the charcoal is hot!  I'll grill up chicken done a couple of ways, some pork chops done in different marinades, a few burgers, perhaps some fish....  Some of that will go in the freezer as a base for future meals, some of that will go in the fridge for the upcoming week. 

A good way to keep variety in your meals is to just alternate your days with different proteins.  What do you feel like, beef, chicken, pork or fish?  Start off with what hits you first, then alternate, pairing proteins up with a complimentary veggie.  Grilled chicken and broccoli, pork chops and asparagus, steak and mushrooms, fish and green beans....   There, boom, four meals!

This isn't for everyone, but I have a white board in my kitchen, for menus and a grocery list.  The point here though, is to jot ideas down.

Look in the freezer, peak in the fridge, check out your pantry and see what you have.  Start writing it down in meal planning fashion, if you don't do this kind of thing already, you'll see how really easy it starts to flow - it's easier to craft a shopping list this way too!    It's thinking a few moves ahead - checkmate!


Hawkeyes Rally to Complete Weekend Sweep

IOWA CITY, Iowa -- Two eighth-inning RBI singles from Tyler Cropley and Kyle Crowl sent the University of Iowa to a 4-3 come-from-behind victory, leading the Hawkeyes to a three-game series sweep over Evansville on Sunday afternoon at Duane Banks Field.
The win was Iowa's third come-from-behind win of the season, improving the team's record to 11-6 overall.
"We've taken some big strides this weekend," said Crowl. "We came out with a lot of energy today and I think we did a good job executing. We've been getting it done late in the games and I think we did a good job showing that again today."