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August 2020

July 2020

Free school supplies available at BeMobile Verizon

BeMobile Verizon is giving away $100,000 in school supplies to local children

BeMobile Verizon is excited to announce it’s 7th Annual Back Pack Give Away! In an effort to support parents as the school year approaches, BeMobile will be sharing backpacks filled with school supplies at no cost.

The event will be held in each BeMobile Verizon location from August 4th - 7th, during regular business hours, which can be found at 

In light of the current operating conditions for retail stores, additional precautions will be taken for this year’s event.  Backpacks will be distributed over multiple days and parents or guardians may call ahead to reserve up to 3 backpacks for pickup in order to prevent a concentration of people and make proper distancing easier.  Remaining backpacks will be available on a first-come, first-serve basis. Backpacks will be handled only by employees and given directly to the person receiving the backpack. Guests are encouraged to wear masks and sanitizer will be available at each location. Children are not required to be present to pick up backpacks and no purchase is necessary.

“This one of our favorite events each year. Giving back to the community is so important to each and every one of us at BeMobile,” says Jason Prinsen, Director of Sales and Marketing at BeMobile. “ Our teams are excited to hand out backpacks and supplies to families. We are thankful to our employees, guests, and communities for participating again in our annual event.”

During the event, BeMobile will be giving away nearly 5,000 backpacks to local children. Any questions regarding this event please contact your local BeMobile Verizon.

About BeMobile Verizon

BeMobile Verizon has been keeping communities connected since 2000..

Since opening our neighborhood Verizon stores have expanded to include 55 stores in 5 states (Iowa, Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota, and Wisconsin). Our corporate headquarters is located in Grand Forks, North Dakota. Learn more about BeMobile at

Luther College announces 2020 graduates

DECORAH, Iowa – Matthew Harper and Noah Tiegs, both of Coralville, Iowa, participated in commencement for the Luther College class of 2020 during a unique Virtual Commencement ceremony on May 24.

            Harper received a Bachelor of Arts degree in music and earned cum laude honors.

            Tiegs received Bachelor of Arts degrees in theatre and Spanish and earned summa cum laude honors.

A total of 417 graduates watched from their homes with loved ones as they were honored and celebrated during the virtual ceremony. Of that number, 141 graduates received Latin honors and 80 were first-generation college students.

President Jenifer K. Ward offered a welcome message to the graduates and Asha Aden '20 was awarded Luther's Elizabeth A. and Paul G. Jenson Medal, an award presented each year to an outstanding senior, selected by the graduating class, who best demonstrates the ideals of the college through service to students and the college community.

Due to public health concerns created by the COVID-19 pandemic, and state and national social distancing recommendations, the decision was made to postpone in-person Spring 2020 Commencement.

Luther College is home to more than 1,900 undergraduates who explore big questions and take action to benefit people, communities and society. Our 60+ academic programs, experiential approach to learning and welcoming community inspire students to learn actively, live purposefully and lead courageously for a lifetime of impact. Learn more at

Pedestrian detour in place on Burlington Street

A pedestrian detour is shown for Burlington Street.

A pedestrian detour has been put in place on Burlington Street due to the Burlington-Madison Intersection Improvements Project.
Sidewalk on the south end of Burlington Street from Madison to Clinton Street has been closed to allow for utility construction in the area.

The detour directs pedestrians around the closure by way of Madison or Clinton Street to Court Street.
A pedestrian route on Burlington Street is set to be open by Monday, August 17, 2020. More information on the Burlington-Madison Intersection Improvements Project can be found at the project's webpage. 

Iowa City announces three finalists for Police Chief position

City Manager Geoff Fruin announced on Thursday, July 30, 2020, that three finalists have been named for the Chief of Police position. 

The finalist are: Jason Lando of Pittsburgh, Dustin Liston of El Paso, Texas, and Jeremy Logan of Oelwein. 

In February, then Police Chief Jody Matherly retired after a 37-year law enforcement career, serving the last three years as Iowa City Police Chief. A national search for a replacement followed the announcement. 

Finalists have been invited to Iowa City for the next stage of the recruitment process.

  • Jason Lando: Commander, Pittsburgh Bureau of Police

    • Served in the Pittsburgh Bureau of Police since 2000; Commander since 2014
    • Graduated with a Masters of Science in Legal Studies from California University of Pennsylvania in 2017
    • Bachelors of Science in Emergency Medicine Management from University of Pittsburgh in 2001
    • Full resume
  • Dustin Liston: Lieutenant, El Paso Police Department

    • Served in the El Paso Police Department since 1998; Lieutenant since 2014
    • Graduate with a Masters of Science in Criminal Justice from Sul Ross State University in 2016
    • Bachelors of Arts in Psychology and Sociology from University of Iowa in 1997 
    • Full resume
  • Jeremy Logan: Chief, Oelwein Police Department

    • Served in Oelwein Police Department since 1993; Chief since 2002
    • Currently enrolled in Criminal Justice Leadership Masters program at Waldorf University
    • Bachelors of Applied Science in Criminal Justice Administration from Waldorf University in 2016
    • Full resume

Details of the public and meet and greet event will be announced at a later date. The City will implement COVID-19 protocols and will broadcast content from the public event for those not able to attend.  

Feedback on the candidates is welcome anytime and can be submitted by emailing [email protected], or by submitting written feedback to the Human Resources Administrator through the Washington Street City Hall lobby drop box or via mail to City Hall at 410 E. Washington Street in Iowa City, 52240. 

For more information about the finalists, including responses to an initial screening questionnaire, visit 

Community Connection: IVRS helps Iowans with disabilities achieve independence through employment

Community Connection: Iowa Vocational Rehabilitation Services

Community Connection is a video series that highlights the different people and organizations in our community to discuss the issues that are important to our residents. In this episode, Mayor Bruce Teague speaks with Monica Brockway of Iowa Vocational Rehabilitation Services about how this state employment program offers opportunities to individuals who experience a disability. Click here to watch.

You can watch previous Community Connection episodes on City Channel 4's YouTube page.

Buses to detour due to road work on Melrose Avenue starting Monday, August 3, 2020

IOWA CITY -- Iowa CityBeginning on Monday, August 3, 2020, eastbound buses traveling on Melrose Avenue will detour using Westgate Street to West Benton Street to Sunset Street and back to Melrose Avenue due to road work closing Melrose Avenue between Emerald Street and Sunset Street. The bus stops located at Melrose Avenue and Emerald Street (stop 8210) and Melrose Avenue and Sunset Street (stop 8150) will be closed while construction is ongoing.


Cedar RapidsCEDAR RAPIDS, IA – Effective Friday, July 31, 2020, 3rd Avenue SE will be closed to westbound traffic between 1st Street and 2nd Street for crane operations. Work is expected to take one (1) day, weather permitting. The eastbound lane will remain open; westbound traffic to seek an alternate route.

City of Cedar Rapids Launches Urban Dreams Workforce Training Apprenticeship Program

CEDAR RAPIDS, IA – The City of Cedar Rapids has contracted with Urban Dreams (UD) to create and implement a workforce training apprenticeship program for Cedar Rapids.

The program focuses on adults and young people from the city’s underserved and low-socioeconomic areas. UD will work with individuals who have had barriers to success, including high school dropouts or at-risk youth, individuals lacking career guidance or understanding of career opportunities, those with prior criminal records, and those under or unemployed.

“We are looking forward to working with area businesses to create models that are specific, intentional, and will make great progress in Cedar Rapids,” said Izaah Knox, Urban Dream Executive Director. “This is a collaborative effort, and we want to partner with area businesses to help create new pipelines to diverse populations to help fill critical workforce gaps and provide brand new hope for families and individuals in the community.”

The Cedar Rapids Urban Dreams program will implement a holistic approach, providing participants with pre-employment training and an additional support network focused on continuous training, development, and mentoring.

Some of the strategies will include:

  • Establishing partnerships between Urban Dreams and local employers to create sustainable workforce pipelines
  • Creation and implementation of a career readiness and “soft-skills” training course covering skills needed to succeed in today’s workforce
  • Case management assistance for all clients placed by UD at participating organization/industry partners
  • Technical assistance for the organization/industry including, cultural competence training and program evaluation.

“One of the issues we continue to hear year after year from local businesses is their struggle to fill their workforce needs, specifically within the middle skills jobs,” said Jasmine Almoayyed, Cedar Rapids Economic Development Manager. “This important and innovative program brings together businesses, non-profit and service organizations, and individuals to work to meet those needs for the betterment of the entire community.”

About Urban Dreams (UD)

Urban Dreams is a Des Moines based inner-city non-profit that provides substance abuse, mental health, job training and placement, inmate reentry services, community engagement, education, and community advocacy for people of color and low-income individuals and families.

Traffic Alert - Melrose Avenue

IOWA CITY -- Iowa CityWeather permitting, beginning on Monday, August 3, 2020, eastbound Melrose Avenue will be closed at Emerald Street. A detour will be posted utilizing Mormon Trek Boulevard, Benton Street and Sunset Street. This closure is necessary to facilitate street pavement repair work. It is anticipated Melrose Avenue will re-open to normal traffic by Thursday, August 6th.

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

For updated information on road construction in Iowa City, visit

**Located** Family seeking help locating missing juvenile

7/29/2020 update:  Ysidra Shaw has been located, safe and sound.  She has been reunited with her family.  

Missing juvenile: Ysidra Shaw, 16, was last seen at about 3:30 p.m. today, July 28, 2020.  She was wearing the shirt in this picture (white, gray, pink t-shirt), jean shorts and black Nike shoes.  Ysidra is 5’7”, wears glasses, and has pierced ears.  Anyone with possible information about Ysidra’s whereabouts is urged to contact Iowa City Police at 319-356-6800, so she can be reunited with her family.