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October 2019

September 2019

News – City of North Liberty - September 30, 2019

North Liberty is a growing, thriving and young community. Proud to be a family-friendly small town in the heart of Iowa.

Experience Life Through the Eyes of a Returning Ex-offender

On Monday, Nov. 8, from 2 to 4 p.m., Inside Out Reentry Community will provide, with support from the City of North Liberty, a Reentry Simulation at the North Liberty Community Center, 520 W. Cherry St. Attendance is free, but registration is required and limited to 50 people. The Reentry Simulation was developed by the United…

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Awe-inspiring mega kites to soar above North Liberty

On Sunday, Oct. 6, the City of North Liberty and The Eastern Iowa Airport are bringing fun to the sky with awe-inspiring mega kites. All are invited to Centennial Park, 1565 St. Andrews Drive, for an afternoon of free, fall family fun from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Blankets, lawn chairs and picnics are welcome.…

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This is Halloween

It's truly fall, and as we move towards October – and as attention turns to Halloween – we have some treats for you. But first, the question everyone asks: When is Trick-or-treating? If you’re not a transplant from central Iowa or a few other pockets out east, or haven’t heard of Beggars Night, this may seem like a…

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Bears lose Trubisky, shut down Cook in 16-6 win over Vikings

Chicago BearsCHICAGO -- Chase Daniel came through in relief after Mitchell Trubisky got knocked out of the game on the opening possession, and a banged-up defense dominated again for the Chicago Bears.

It all added up to a victory that ranked among coach Matt Nagy's favorites, even if it came with a price.

Daniel threw for 195 yards and a touchdown after Trubisky exited with a left shoulder injury, and Chicago swarmed NFL rushing leader Dalvin Cook in a 16-6 victory over the Minnesota Vikings on Sunday.


No. 14 Iowa throttles Middle Tennessee 48-3

Iowa HawkeyesIOWA CITY, Iowa -- Iowa's defense has been among the nation's best all season.

The Hawkeyes' offense joined in on the fun at just the right time, racking up more yards than it ever has under longtime coach Kirk Ferentz.

Senior Nate Stanley threw for 276 yards and two touchdowns, Toren Young added a career-high 131 yards rushing and 14th-ranked Iowa throttled Middle Tennessee 48-3 on Saturday, moving to 4-0 for the third time in 10 years.


No charcoal chimney necessary when using Tumbleweeds to fire up the grill - Grilling Good Eats

By Mike Thayer

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 (up to now) 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 WITHOUT resorting to lighter fluid. 

I wrote an article awhile back about using Weber Lighter Cubes to start charcoal, a great product that eliminates the need for newspaper but is still a bit dependent on the use of a chimney.

TumbleweedEnter a game changer, Tumbleweeds, made by Royal Oak.  These things are great, so good in fact, they eliminate the need to use a charcoal chimney.  No more putting on the glove, no more handling a hot metal container, no more worries about some hot ash getting getting loose and hitting your foot causing a bit of pain because you're wearing sandals......

All you have to do when using Tumbleweeds is put a base layer of charcoal or chunks of your favorite wood in the grill (I like to use a basket in my grill), throw a Tumbleweed in, place a few more lumps, briquettes or chunks around it, light the Tumbleweed and let it do it's thing.  One 'weed' has about an 8-10 minute burn time and as that charcoal starts to gray, you can add more if desired.  This can all be done right where you wanted to dump the hot coals from a chimney, but no chimney is required!

Don't get me wrong, there's still the need to have a charcoal chimney on hand, especially for long cooks and adding additional coals to the fire.  But when first firing up the grill, a chimney isn't needed when using Tumbleweeds and they outperform Weber Lighter Cubes.

Tumbleweed lit
Plenty of room to throw some pecan wood chunks on top, no worries of putting out the Tumbleweed fire

For tips on how to use a charcoal chimney if you're not familiar with them, go to

Costing me about $4 for a box of 16 Tumbleweeds, that's 16 grilling events.  They can be used to start camp fires and outdoor fireplaces as well!  Very reasonably priced and outstanding at the task of starting that fire, I'm giving Royal Oak Tumbleweeds 5 out of 5 stars.

5 stars

Related:  Weber Lighter Cubes

Related:  Arranging Your Coals


‘Paint A Plow’ Gives Children Chance to Decorate City Plows

Cedar RapidsCEDAR RAPIDS, IA – The City of Cedar Rapids Public Works Department would like to invite area schools to participate in “Paint a Plow” and decorate a City plow blade, which will be used during winter snow removal efforts.

The Paint a Plow program allows children the opportunity to see a snow plow up close, paint the inside of the blade, and gain a deeper appreciation and understanding of snow removal operations. The painted blades are then used on snow routes near the school or daycare which decorated the blade, giving children the chance to catch their artwork in action as crews keep Cedar Rapids’ streets clear of snow.


Paint a Plow will run October 1 through November 30, 2019. Schools interested in participating are encouraged to contact Public Works at 319-286-5826 or email [email protected]. Snow plow blades can be dropped off at a designated school. Public Works staff will provide paint, brushes, and tarps, and will pick the blade up once complete.

Photos of the blade creations can be submitted to [email protected], and will be shared on the City’s Facebook page (City of Cedar Rapids Iowa Government). Please include the name of the school, name of the class, the grade of the students, and a brief description of your creation.

Fall Leaf Vacuum Collection Begins September 30

Cedar RapidsCEDAR RAPIDS, IA – Starting Monday, September 30, the Cedar Rapids Solid Waste and Recycling Division will begin operating leaf vacuum trucks. The trucks will run through Thursday, December 5. Residents can expect leaf collection every-other week on a schedule based upon the quadrant they live in.

Leaf collection in the southeast and northeast quadrants will start on Mondays in alternating weeks. Leaf collection in the southwest and northwest quadrants will start on Wednesdays in alternating weeks.

Leaf collection schedules were sent with Cedar Rapids Utilities bills, in the August edition of the Our CR magazine, and a calendar is also available at to help customers identify when their leaves will be collected. Customers can also call the Solid Waste & Recycling Division at (319) 286-5897 to determine their collection day. To ensure residents always know when leaves will be collected, all customers are encouraged to sign up for garbage and recycling text or email alerts at

Residents should have their leaves raked to the parking area or grass next to the street in front of their homes by 7 a.m. on the respective Monday or Wednesday of their collection period.

Leaves throughout the city tend to fall at the same time, creating large volumes of leaves in areas of the city with mature trees. If heavy leaf volumes cannot be collected as scheduled, crews will finish collecting leaves in each quadrant before moving onto the next. Fridays and Saturdays will be used as makeup days. If weather or leaf volume slows service, the Cedar Rapids Solid Waste and Recycling Division will strive to reach any missed properties by Thursday (for quadrants with collection beginning Mondays) or Saturday (for quadrants with collection beginning Wednesdays).

Leaves must be kept out of the street and away from obstacles like mailboxes, signs, poles and trees. The vacuum truck will not collect leaves from alleys. Leaf piles should be free from brush and debris. Sticks and twigs can be placed in the YARDY cart for collection. Litter should be bagged and placed in your GARBY cart. Please do not park cars in front of leaf piles; the truck will not be able to collect the leaves.

For more information about the Solid Waste & Recycling Division’s yard waste collection program, visit or call (319) 286-5897. Sign up for text and email alerts about garbage and recycling at

Cedar Rapids Police Department to host Coffee with a Cop on Wednesday, October 2 at Brewed Awakenings

Program offers opportunity to meet local officers, discuss community issues 

Coffee with a copCEDAR RAPIDS, IA – On Wednesday, October 2, 2019 officers from the Cedar Rapids Police Department and community members will come together in an informal, neutral space to discuss community issues, build relationships, and drink coffee.

All community members are invited to attend. The event will run from 9:30 – 11:00 a.m. on October 2 at Brewed Awakenings, 1271 1st Avenue SE. Coffee with a Cop provides a unique opportunity for community members to ask questions and learn more about the department’s work in Cedar Rapids neighborhoods.

The majority of contacts that law enforcement has with the public happen during emergencies, or emotional situations. Those situations are not always the most effective times for relationship building with the community, and some community members may feel that officers are unapproachable on the street. Coffee with a Cop breaks down barriers and allows for a relaxed, one-on-one interaction.

Coffee with a Cop is a national initiative supported by the United States Department of Justice, Office of Community Oriented Policing Services. Similar events are being held across the country, as local police departments strive to make lasting connections with the communities that they serve.

The program aims to advance the practice of community policing through improving relationships between police officers and community members one cup of coffee at a time.

Traffic Alert - Washington Street

IOWA CITY -- Weather permitting, beginning on Monday, September 30, 2019; west bound Washington Street, between Gilbert Street and Linn Street, will be closed to through traffic.  This lane closure will facilitate pavement replacement and traffic signal installation associated with the Gilbert Street Intersection Improvements Project.  It is anticipated that normal traffic will resume on Friday October 4, 2019.     

Motorists are to take note of this construction work and seek an alternate route during this time period.  As always, caution should be exercised when traveling in all construction areas.

For updated information on road construction in Iowa City, visit

Traffic Alert - N Dodge Street

Iowa CityIOWA CITY -- Weather permitting, on Monday, September 30, 2019, lanes of traffic will be shifted on N Dodge Street between Bristol Drive and Dubuque Road.  This traffic lane shift will facilitate street pavement repair work.  It is anticipated normal traffic will resume by the end of the day.

Motorists are encouraged to allow extra travel time during this time period as delays may occur. As always, caution should be exercised when driving through all construction areas.

For updated information on road construction in Iowa City, visit