News, Metro Feed

South Gilbert Street sidewalk closed from Napoleon to McCollister

IOWA CITY -- Beginning on the evening of Thursday, October 17, 2019, the sidewalk on the west side of South Gilbert Street will be closed to pedestrian and bike traffic between Napoleon Lane and McCollister Boulevard due to pavement replacement. 

It is anticipated that this sidewalk will reopen on Monday, Oct. 20, 2019.

Trail users are to take note of this closure and seek an alternate route on the Iowa River Trail during this time. Please use caution when traveling through all construction areas

Traffic Alert - Linn Street

IOWA CITY -- Weather permitting, beginning on Monday, October 21, 2019, lanes of traffic will be shifted on Linn Street between Market Street and Bloomington Street to facilitate the installation of storm sewer in the area.  It is anticipated normal traffic will resume by Friday, October 25th.

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

City receives $200K grant from DNR for Terry Trueblood restoration


“Green” your Halloween this year


Spread the Word to Every Ghoul and Goblin: Buzzed Driving Is Drunk Driving

CEDAR RAPIDS, IA – Each year, millions of children and adults alike celebrate Halloween, a holiday known for its sweet treats and spooky parties. Leave the dangerous driving for the witches on brooms, and commit to sober driving Halloween night, and every night. To help spread the message that Buzzed Driving Is Drunk Driving, the U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) is teaming up with the Cedar Rapids Police Department to remind everyone of the dangers of drunk driving. Halloween poses an especially dangerous threat to pedestrians, as more people are out at night on the hunt for candy. If your night involves alcohol, plan for a sober ride home. Remember: It’s never safe to drink and drive.

“This year, Halloween falls on a Thursday, so we’re certain to see extra parties throughout the weekend, and every single partygoer should plan their sober ride home in advance” said Sergeant Graham Campshure, Traffic Commander with the Cedar Rapids Police Department.  “Even one drink can impair judgement. You should never put yourself, or others, at risk because you made the selfish choice to drink and drive. For most, even one drink can be one too many. Remember: Buzzed Driving Is Drunk Driving.”

Between 2013 and 2017, there were 158 drunk-driving fatalities on Halloween night (6 p.m. October 31 – 5:59 a.m. November 1). According to NHTSA, 42% of all people killed in motor vehicle crashes on Halloween night from 2013 to 2017 were in crashes involving a drunk driver. Younger drivers are most at risk: Even though it is illegal to consume alcohol under age 21, those under the age of 21 had the highest percentage (45%) of fatalities in drunk-driving crashes on Halloween night in 2017.

“We want our community to have a fun night out on Halloween, but to also stay safe and make responsible choices,” said Campshure.  “In today’s world, there are many options available to drivers to help them get home safely if they have been drinking. We expect drivers to refrain from driving after drinking,” he said.

It is illegal everywhere in America to drive with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of .08 or higher. Even still, thousands die each year in drunk-driving-related crashes. In 2017, there were 10,874 people killed in drunk-driving crashes. And the costs can be financial, too: If you’re caught drinking and driving, you could face jail time, lose your driver’s license and your vehicle, and pay up to $10,000 in attorney’s fees, fines, car towing and repairs, higher insurance rates, and lost wages.

Drunk driving isn’t the only risk on the road: Drug-impaired driving is also an increasing problem on our nation’s roads, for men and for women. If drivers are impaired by any substance — alcohol or drugs — they should not get behind the wheel of a vehicle. It is illegal in all states to drive impaired by alcohol or drugs. Across the country, some states are starting to loosen restrictions on marijuana, specifically. Remember: Driving while impaired is illegal, period. The bottom line is this: If You Feel Different, You Drive Different. It’s that simple. 

Party with a Plan

If you plan to head out for a night of Halloween partying, follow these simple tips for a safe and happy evening:

  • Remember that it is never okay to drink and drive. Even if you’ve had only one alcoholic beverage, designate a sober driver or plan to use public transportation or a ride sharing service to get home safely.
  • If you see a drunk driver on the road, contact local law enforcement.
  • Have a friend who is about to drink and drive? Take the keys away and make arrangements to get your friend home safely.

Always remember: Buzzed Driving Is Drunk Driving. For more information, visit


Cedar RapidsCEDAR RAPIDS, IA – Effective Thursday, October 17, 2019,  the eastbound lane on 2nd Avenue SE will be closed to traffic between 1st Street and 2nd Street for crane operations. The westbound lane will remain open. Work is anticipated to take one (1) day to complete, weather permitting. Eastbound traffic must seek an alternate route.

Traffic Alert - Market Street

Iowa CityIOWA CITY -- Weather permitting, on Thursday, October 17, 2019, Market Street will be reduced to one lane of traffic between Linn Street and Clinton Street to facilitate the construction of a building in the area.  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

Road Closure - McCleary Lane

Iowa CityIOWA CITY -- Weather permitting, beginning on Thursday, October 17, 2019, McCleary Lane will  be closed to traffic east of its intersection with Foster Road due to street pavement repair work.  It is anticipated normal traffic will resume by Saturday, October 19th.

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

For updated information on road construction in Iowa City, visit

Driver in fatal crash on First Avenue identified

The driver involved in this fatal crash has been identified as Diane Fritts, 49, of Iowa City. The case, including contributing circumstances and cause of death, remains under investigation pending autopsy results.

There were no other occupants of the vehicle at the time of the collision.

On October 14, 2019 at 2:41 p.m., Iowa City Police, Iowa City Fire and Johnson County Ambulance responded to the area of North First Avenue and Scott Blvd. for a single vehicle crash.  Upon arrival, it was determined that the driver of the vehicle was deceased.  The name of the driver is not being released at this time. This matter remains under investigation by Iowa City Police traffic collision investigators.  North First Avenue from Hickory Trail to Scott Blvd. will be closed to vehicular traffic beginning at 9:00 a.m. on Tuesday, October 15.  Scott Blvd. will remain open.

New eBook limit could force readers to wait for new releases

On July 25, Macmillan Publishing announced it would become the only major (Big 5) publisher to limit eBook lending for U.S. libraries. This means when a new book is released, Macmillan will allow library systems to purchase only one copy during an eight-week window.

This new licensing model is scheduled to begin November 1, 2019.

Currently, Digital Johnson County, a partnership between the Iowa City, Coralville and North Liberty public libraries, purchase multiple copies of popular eBooks so that more than one person can read it at the same time. For example, we have 22 copies of the eBook version of Michelle Obama’s “Becoming.” More than 400 area library users have checked out the eBook and 48 people are still waiting. Random House was the parent company who published “Becoming.” If that company had been Macmillan, the library would only be able to buy 1 copy for all 3 libraries.

“Macmillan Publishers’ new model for library eBook lending will make it difficult for libraries to fulfill our central mission: ensuring access to information for all,” American Library Association (ALA) President Wanda Brown said. “Macmillan’s new policy is unacceptable.”

Public Library Association (PLA) President Ramiro Salazar echoed her stand, stating, “Access to digital content in libraries is more than a financial issue: it is an equity issue. We encourage Macmillan Publishers to reverse course before libraries and the people they serve are harmed.”

Millions of people now use digital content as their preferred or only access to books, music, and movies. Digital content is portable, accessible to people with print disabilities, available anywhere 24/7, and brokered by libraries to provide diverse options to our diverse communities. A core tenet of the public library mission is to provide free and equal access to information. Macmillan’s new model threatens this mission.

The Iowa City Public Library joins the ALA in denouncing this measure and calling for Macmillan Publishing to cancel the embargo and restore full access to its complete eBook catalog upon release to the public.

Furthermore, ICPL affirms the principles that:

  • All published works must be available for libraries to purchase and lend to library users.
  • Access to and use of eBooks must equitably balance the rights and privileges of readers, authors and publishers.
  • Digital content must be accessible to all people, regardless of physical or reading disability.
  • Library patrons must be able to access digital content on the device of their choosing.
  • Reading records must remain private in the digital age.

Consider joining ICPL and signing the American Library Association’s petition for #eBooksforAll at