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August 2017

July 2017

Grilling Good Eats: Starting your charcoal

You can start your charcoal several ways, you can use lighter fluid, you can buy those ‘Match Light’ briquettes, or you can do what I think is the best way to go and that’s fire up your charcoal using a charcoal chimney. I don’t like lighter fluid for several reasons. I don’t like to store it, I don’t like running out, the smell can get on your hands and clothes, and inexperienced grillers tend to put too much on or start grilling over charcoals that aren’t really ready yet, giving your food that nasty fuel taste. Those ‘Match Light’ briquettes are OK, they’re very convenient, but they are more expensive and like the traditional charcoal/lighter fluid starting method, can put a fuel taste on your food if cooked over before the coals are really ready. Avoid the fuel taste risk completely and start your charcoal by using a charcoal chimney.


John Lackey and homer lift Cubs vs. Brewers

MILWAUKEE -- The Cubs stormed into Miller Park with momentum and left with it, too.

Fill-in first baseman Victor Caratini hit a go-ahead home run in the seventh inning and Kris Bryant added insurance with another solo shot in the eighth for a 4-2 win over the stumbling Brewers on Sunday in front of a third straight sellout crowd. The Cubs' 13th win in 16 games since the All-Star break gave Chicago a 2 1/2 game lead in the National League Central over the Brewers, who have lost 11 of 14.


Grilling Good Eats: Ch. 1 - Grill Setup

Chapter 1 - The Grill Setup

Grilling Good Eats

by Mike Thayer

How much charcoal should I use? How long does charcoal stay hot? What kind of grill should I buy? Which is better, gas or charcoal? Do I put the lid on or leave it off? Are those wood pellets any good?

These are all great questions. Whether you’re new to grilling or are looking to expand on your grilling expertise, you’re reading the right book. The answers are here.


Cubs win 2-1 in 11 as front office works on trades before deadline

Manager Joe Maddon doesn't overlook the growing pains of his young Cubs as team executives try to upgrade the roster for the stretch drive.

The Cubs overcame 17 strikeouts and stranding 11 runners Saturday night in a methodical manner. After spending more than an hour in the batting cage beforehand, Kris Bryant snapped out of a 1-for-15 slump with three hits — including a game-tying single in the seventh inning.

In the 11th Jason Heyward ripped a home run off Jared Hughes to lift the Cubs to a 2-1 victory over the Brewers before a season-high Miller Park crowd of 44,709.

"That ball had a little bit of a charge in it," Maddon said. "We needed that. We were not piecing anything together. We struck out 17 times twice in a week, and won two games. You have to check with the Elias (Sports Bureau) on that bad boy."


Grilling Good Eats: Mike's Sweet Heat Rub

Mike's Sweet Heat Rub

Excellent on beef!  It's good on chicken and pork too, but excellent on beef!


  • 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 2 teaspoons onion powder
  • 2 teaspoons garlic powder
  • 2 teaspoons brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons black pepper, freshly ground
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1 teaspoon Kosher salt


Mix all ingredients to incorporate.  Best when rubbed on the meat at least four hours before grilling, good for 4 serving portions.


Party in the Park and ribbon cutting event at Wetherby Park this Thursday

This week’s Party in the Park will also feature a ribbon cutting for the new sport court. Stop by and learn how to play futsal or show off your skills at the basketball competition!

Iowa City Parks and Recreation's Party in the Park series continues this week on Thursday, Aug. 3, 2017, at Wetherby Park, 2400 Taylor Dr. This week's event is extra special, with a celebratory conclusion to the Wetherby Sport Court construction project. The fun begins at 5:30 p.m. with a performance by Eulenspiegel Puppet Theatre in the park shelter and a futsol demonstration at the sport court. After that, there will be a ribbon cutting ceremony at 6:15 p.m. and a basketball skills competition. The main Party in the Park event will begin at 6:30 p.m. and will feature music from Suzanne Wedeking, as well as the usual craft projects and frozen treats.

Party in the Park is a no-fee event and is open to the public. Check out the full schedule of events below.

About the Wetherby Sport Court project

The Iowa City Parks and Recreation Department launched the Wetherby Park sport court planning process in August 2016, which included a public input meeting held September 28, 2016. Public comments, including suggestions from area youth, were incorporated into the plan. The court can accommodate many activities and lines have been painted for basketball and futsal use. This project is supported through funds from a $75,000 Wellmark Foundation Community Health MATCH grant and Community Development Block Grant funds. The court was designed by Snyder & Associates, and constructed by LL Pelling.

About Party in the Park
Sponsored by Iowa City’s Parks and Recreation Department and the Neighborhood Outreach Division, Party in the Park gives residents a chance to enjoy their summer evenings outdoors with friends and family while exploring the City’s many beautiful natural spaces and neighborhoods.

For more information, contact Joyce Carroll, Recreation Arts Supervisor, at [email protected] or 319-356-5100, or Marcia Bollinger, Neighborhood Outreach Planner, at [email protected] or 319-356-5237.

2017 Party in the Park events:

Wetherby Park — 2400 Taylor Street
Entertainment: Suzanne Wedeking
Eulenspiegel Puppet Theatre performance 5:30 p.m.

S. Hickory Hill Park — 1439 E. Bloomington Street
Entertainment: The Fritters

College Green Park — 600 College Street
Entertainment: Mitch McAndrew

Brookland Park — 550 Greenwood Drive
Entertainment: Bob and Kristie Black

Sunset 5K Fun Special Olympics Benefit Run/Walk is August 6

Cedar Rapids, IA – The Cedar Rapids Parks and Recreation Department and Special Olympics Iowa are hosting a Sunset 5K and 1M Fun Run on Sunday, August 6.  All funds raised will benefit Special Olympics Iowa (SOIA) athletes in the Cedar Rapids area. Prairie Park Fishery, 2125 Otis Road SE, in Cedar Rapids is the location for this event sponsored by Sam’s Club. The Sunset 5K begins at 7:00 p.m., and the 1M Fun Run/Walk starts at 7:10 p.m.

“This inclusive event is to help raise awareness and funds for Special Olympics Iowa athletes,” said SOIA Coach and CR Parks and Recreation Special Populations Supervisor, Rob Wagner.  “We will have athletes and community members of all ages participating and the paved trail at Prairie Park Fishery is stroller and wheelchair friendly. We encourage everyone to be part of the fun, whether you are walking or running at the event.”

The registration fee is $25.  For more information or to register, visit

Special Olympics Iowa (SOIA), a statewide nonprofit organization, provides high-quality training and competition for children and adults with intellectual disabilities in all 99 counties of Iowa.  SOIA offers 23 Olympic-style sports to nearly 12,000 athletes and Unified Sports partners year-round. Since 1968, Special Olympics has provided an inclusive culture that stresses athletic excellence, rewards determination, emphasizes health, and celebrates personal achievement. 

Trucks carry 63.4% of U.S.-NAFTA freight

WASHINGTON — Trucks carried 63.4 percent of U.S.-North American Free Trade Agreement freight and continued to be the most heavily utilized mode for moving goods to and from both U.S.-NAFTA partners, the Department of Transportation's Bureau of Transportation Statistics reported Thursday.

Trucks accounted for $32.2 billion of the $53.5 billion of imports (60.2 percent) and $30.1 billion of the $44.7 billion of exports (67.3 percent), the BTS reported.

U.S.-NAFTA freight totaled $98.2 billion as all five major transportation modes carried more freight by value with partners Canada and Mexico in May 2017 compared to May 2016, according to the TransBorder freight data released the BTS.


Related:  Trucking Jobs