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September 2020

August 2020

Iowa City Police investigate reports of gunshots at Town and Campus Apartments

On Sunday, Aug. 30th, 2020, at 12:02 a.m., the Iowa City Police Department responded to multiple calls of gunfire in the area of 1100 Arthur Street.  First arriving officers found multiple shell casings in the area, but no victims or property damaged.

Investigation into the incident led officers to execute search warrants at two residences at the Town and Campus Apartments, 1100 Arthur Street.  Evidence was collected during these search warrants and a person, Earl McKee, 30, was taken into custody on an outstanding warrant through the U.S. Marshals Service.

No charges have been filed related to the gunshots being fired and we are continuing to investigate. The general public is not believed to be at increased risk due to this incident.

The Iowa City Police Department is asking for the public's help in providing any information related to this case.  Anyone with information is asked to call Investigations Sergeant Jerry Blomgren at 319-356-5275.

Iowa City Area Crime Stoppers is also offering a reward of up to $1,000 for information about this incident that leads to an arrest. Crime Stoppers tips can be submitted via the P3 Tips app, online at, or by phone at 319-358-TIPS (8477). All tips and calls are held in strict confidence and anonymity is guaranteed. Individuals providing information are not required to reveal their identity to collect a reward.

Electrocution Incident - 800 Block of 17th Street SE

CEDAR RAPIDS, IA – Firefighters and police officers were dispatched to a possible electrocution incident in the 800 block of 17th Street SE at 4:48 p.m. on Saturday, August 29.  First responders arrived on scene and found that a 22-year old male was on the platform of a portable lift and had made contact with an overhead electrical power line.  The victim was apparently using the lift to trim trees.

The victim was still conscious and directed to stay on the platform of the portable lift until Alliant Energy arrived on scene and de-energized the affected power lines in contact with the lift.   After power was disconnected, firefighters moved the victim from the portable lift platform to the bucket at the end of the aerial ladder on the Fire Department’s ladder truck.

The victim was transported to the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics.   The power line that was contacted was apparently a 7,200 volt electrical line. 

Public safety personnel would like to remind citizens to be particularly vigilant of overhead power lines during storm cleanup, especially when using portable lifts or ladders that could accidentally come into contacted with energized power lines. 

Fatal Accident on US Interstate 380 Near US Highway 30

CEDAR RAPIDS, IA – U.S. Interstate 380 southbound lanes south of U.S. Highway 30 are now open following an accident investigation.  There is an ongoing investigation.  Officers, including accident reconstruction specialists, are no longer on scene. 

Previous media release (August 28, 2020, 8:30 p.m.):

Cedar Rapids Police Officers remain on the scene of an accident on U.S. Interstate 380 southbound near U.S. Highway 30.  The interstate will remain closed for a period of time as the accident involves a fatality. 

There was a previous accident on U.S. Interstate 380 southbound near the rest stop. At 6:33 p.m. the secondary accident was reported and it involved two vehicles striking the back of a flatbed truck.  The driver of one of the vehicles that struck the back of the flatbed truck sustained fatal injuries.  

Police Department accident reconstruction specialists are continuing to investigate. 

There will be no further information released at this time. The name of the victim is being withheld pending notification of family members.


Cedar RapidsCEDAR RAPIDS, IA – Starting Tuesday, September 1, 2020, traffic traveling westbound on Collins Road NE between Twixt Town Road and Lindale Drive will experience lane reductions as nearby detention basin improvements are underway. Work is expected to take approximately five (5) days. This work is carry over from the Collins Road improvements already completed.


Cedar RapidsCEDAR RAPIDS, IA – Starting Monday, August 31, northbound traffic on Edgewood Road will be reduced to one lane between Ellis Road NW and the Cedar River Bridge, for construction of trail guardrail. This closure will last for approximately one (1) week.

Iowa City Police investigate another online video showing vehicle/protester incident

Iowa City Police have been made aware of a video circulating online from Friday, August 28, 2020 of a vehicle backing towards protesters after a verbal exchange in the intersection of Gilbert and College Streets. We are investigating this incident. As of yet, we have not been contacted by any of the people involved or witnesses to the incident.

Anyone who was struck by this vehicle, or witnessed the incident in-person, is urged to contact Iowa City Police Investigator Mike Smithey at 319-356-5452 to provide information that will assist with this investigation.

Route map for final round of storm debris cleanup released

City zone map for storm debris cleanup.

The final round of curbside debris cleanup begins on Monday, Aug. 31, 2020. During that week, crews are expected to begin clearing the following zones: 3, 4, 8, 10, 13.

The City will provide weekly updates on the areas that cleanup crews plan to be during its final round of curbside debris cleanup.

Because the cleanup timeline is based on amount of debris left at the curb in each zone, there will be no specific dates available for anticipated completion. 

A high quality image of the above map can be found on our website. 

Once the final round of cleanup is completed, yard waste cleanup will revert to pre-storm requirements. At this time, the City asks that all small piles of twigs, branches, and leaves be placed in standard containers, detailed below. 

Reminders for storm debris cleanup

  1. Do not park in front of uncollected storm debris, as crews will be unable to clear these areas. 
  2. Do not wait to get debris to the curb; debris should be placed as soon as possible.
  3. Small piles of twigs and branches left at the curb may not be picked up by City crews. Please place these items into your yellow-lid organics cart, paper yard waste bags, or other containers 20-35 gallons in size that weigh less than 50 pounds. 
  4. To report any felled trees on sidewalks, right of ways, or streets, please use the online reporting service, or call Streets at 319-356-5181. 
  5. To receive curbside service alerts to your email, signup for alerts at

Senior Center continues virtual programming into fall

Iowa CityThe Iowa City Senior Center continues to support wellness, community engagement, social connections, and lifelong learning for the diverse and growing older adult population with an expanding lineup of remote programming. 

The Center’s building remains closed due to COVID-19, but older adults are invited to participate in virtual activities, classes and events, both online and via phone this fall. 

Members of The Center will soon receive a printed September calendar in their mailboxes, and the digital program calendar can be viewed at   

Virtual offerings include:

  • Several of The Center's most popular fitness classes, including Saturday Morning Yoga, Fit 4 Life, Slow Flow Yoga, BeMoved Dance, Moving with Parkinson's, and Bone Builders
  • Continued favorites like a weekly Garden Club, Iowa City History Talks, Spanish Conversation Practice, Book Discussion Groups, Reading Aloud, and 50+ Singles Breakfast Club.
  • More opportunities for creative outlets and social connection such as Watercolor Doodling, Zentangle, cooking classes, and Hobby Hour/Happy Hour gatherings including Shop Class, All Things Fermentation, and Collecting.
  • An intergenerational event to celebrate Grandparents Day with a virtual ice cream social and online activities for all ages.
  • Programs to help you stay informed in our changing world, such as COVID-19 updates and Q&A sessions from Johnson County Public Health, and our continuing series of readings and discussions about social justice and racial equity.

The Center will also continue to offer a number of free services to area seniors including SHIIP Medicare Counseling (Senior Health Insurance Information Program), advance care planning and tech help. For more information about The Center’s virtual programs, membership or services visit or call 319-356-5220.

Storm Response Update August 28, 2020

Cedar RapidsCEDAR RAPIDS, IA – Storm response updates for August 28, 2020. A full list of resources can be found on the City’s website: 

Burn Ban

The burn ban will remain in effect indefinitely due to the extremely dry conditions and hot temperatures, which has created a significant fire danger with tree debris and leaves that have dried out. The burn ban includes recreational fires.  To report an illegal burn, please contact the Fire Department at 319-286-5491.

Severe Weather Potential

The National Weather Service has lowered the overall severe weather risk for the Cedar Rapids area.  Storms are expected to be more isolated in nature.  If a storm does develop and strengthen along a cold front, it will be capable of producing damaging winds gusts and hail. Linn County Emergency Management plans to sound the outdoor warning sirens if winds exceed 40 miles per hour. This decision is based on the amount of loose debris still present on the ground and hanging debris still in the trees that has the potential to cause damage or injury when blown around.

Keep Storm Drains Clear

It is important to keep our storm drains clear of debris and clogged leaves that will block water. If you’re able, please rake or shovel debris away from drains and inlets to reduce the risk of street flooding if heavy rains occur in the near future.

Public Tree Debris Drop Off Site – Hours of Operation

Starting Tuesday, September 1, hours of operation for the public drop-off site for tree debris (located at 1st Street NW and I Avenue) will change to 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. daily. Due to remaining space available, the site is anticipated to be open through September 5.

Iowa Attorney General Mobile Field Office

The Iowa Attorney General will have a mobile field office at the U.S. Cellular Center, 370 1st Avenue NE, on Monday, August 31 and Wednesday, September 2 from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m.  Citizens are encouraged to visit the mobile field office if they have any questions about price-gouging or consumer complaints about contractors performing storm-related work.  Citizens may also file a complaint with the Attorney General’s Consumer Protection Division by emailing [email protected] or calling 1-888-777-4590.  

Ongoing Tree Assessments

A certified arborist will evaluate remaining street trees to determine their potential for survival. In some cases, a tree’s canopy may appear healthy, but the tree may not be structurally sound. While the City values every tree, especially after losing more than 20,000 street trees from the derecho, not all remaining trees may recover from the storm. There may be situations where a standing tree that appears healthy will need to be removed because it poses a danger to safety or will not survive. Moving forward, the City will work with community partners to develop a tree replanting initiative to replenish our tree canopy. 

Traffic Alert - Jefferson Street and Linn Street

IOWA CITY -- Iowa CityWeather permitting, beginning on Monday, August 31, 2020 through Wednesday, September 2nd, Jefferson Street will be reduced to one lane of traffic from Dubuque Street to Linn Street to accommodate exterior repair work at St. Mary’s Church.  In addition, Linn Street north of Jefferson Street will be closed to traffic on Thursday, September 3rd through Friday, September 4th

Motorists are to take note of this lane reduction and closure and allow extra travel time or seek an alternate route as travel 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