News, Metro Feed

Cedar Rapids Police Department’s K9 Mac to get donation of body armor

K9 Mac 2021CEDAR RAPIDS, IA – Cedar Rapids Police Department’s K9 Mac will receive a bullet and stab protective vest thanks to a charitable donation from non-profit organization Vested Interest in K9s, Inc.  K9 Mac’s vest is sponsored by The Human Society of the United States and will be embroidered with the sentiment “Honoring those who served and sacrificed.”  Delivery is expected within eight to ten weeks.

Vested Interest in K9s, Inc., established in 2009, is a 501(c)(3) charity whose mission is to provide bullet and stab protective vests and other assistance to dogs of law enforcement and related agencies throughout the United States. This potentially lifesaving body armor for four-legged K9 officers is U.S. made, custom fitted, and NIJ certified.  Since its inception, Vested Interest in K9s, Inc. has provided over 4,450 vests to K9s in all 50 states at a value of $6.9 million, made possible by both private and corporate donations. 

The program is open to U.S. dogs that are at least 20 months old and actively employed and certified with law enforcement or related agencies.  K9s with expired vests are also eligible to participate.  There are an estimated 30,000 law enforcement K9s throughout the United States.

Vested Interest in K9s, Inc. accepts tax-deductible contributions in any amount, while a single donation of $960 will sponsor one vest.  Each vest has a value of $1,744-$2,283, weighs an average of 4-5 lb., and comes with a five-year warranty.  For more information, or to learn about volunteer opportunities, please call 508-824-6978.  Vested Interest in K9s, Inc. provides information, lists events, and accepts donations at www.vik9s.org, or you may mail your contribution to P.O. Box 9, East Taunton, MA 02718.   


Where to Recycle Holiday Lights

Recycle holiday lightsDo you have broken, burned out, or tangled strings of holiday lights to get rid of? Seasonal holiday light recycling is available at drop-off sites throughout the Coralville and Iowa City area. The holiday light recycling program is a free, environmentally-friendly alternative to sending old, unused, or non-working strings of holiday lights to the landfill.  

Holiday lights cannot be placed in your curbside recycling bin. Instead, drop off unwanted strings of holiday lights, without packaging or other materials, in a special collection bin at any of these locations between Monday, November 22, 2021, through Sunday, January 9, 2022:

Coralville:

For questions about Coralville locations, please contact the Coralville Streets and Solid Waste Department at 319.248.1740 or solidwaste@coralville.org.

Iowa City:

  • East Side Recycling Center (via Oil Recycling Shed or ReStore Donations) (2401 Scott Blvd. SE, Iowa City) 
  • Iowa City Landfill and Recycling Center (3900 Hebl Ave. SW, Iowa City) 
  • South Riverside Recycling Center (1200 South Riverside Dr., Iowa City) 
    • Hours of operation: 24/7

For questions about Iowa City locations, please call the City of Iowa City Recycling Coordinator at 319.887.6110.


Support local businesses; free parking in Downtown ramps on Small Business Saturday

Iowa CityIOWA CITY -- Just in time for your holiday shopping needs, parking ramps throughout Downtown Iowa City will be free on Small Business, Saturday, Nov. 27, 2021. Or enjoy free service on Iowa City Transit Nov. 26 and 27!

Though holiday shopping will look different due to COVID-19, Iowa City residents should take the time to support the small, locally-owned businesses that help keep our economy running and our City vibrant. 

By order of the Mayor, masks are required in all businesses within Iowa City. Social distancing is also encouraged to help keep your family and our community safe while shopping. 

Below are the parking and transit changes that will be in place during the holiday weekend. 

Thursday, Nov. 25, 2021 — (Thanksgiving Day)

  • Free parking in ramps and free metered parking
  • No transit service operating

Friday, Nov. 26, 2021 — (Black Friday) 

  • Free parking in ramps and free metered parking
  • Free transit services, running on Saturday schedule

Saturday, Nov. 27, 2021 — (Small Business Saturday) 

  • Free parking in ramps
  • Normal enforcement for on-street metered parking
  • Free transit services 

The City has six convenient parking ramps, all with electric vehicle charging stations. Details at icgov.org/parking

  • Dubuque Street Ramp, 220 S. Dubuque St.
  • Capitol Street Ramp, 220 S. Capitol St.
  • Tower Place Ramp, 335 Iowa Avenue
  • Chauncey Swan Ramp, 415 E. Washington St.
  • Court Street Transportation Center, 150 E. Court St.
  • Harrison Street Parking Ramp, 175 E. Harrison St.

More details can be found at icgov.org/ParkingOptions. People are also encouraged to download the PassportParking app to their smartphone to pay for metered parking and extend time from their mobile devices.

Small Businesses Saturday 

Black Friday and Small Business Saturday mark the beginning of the holiday season for many, and the Iowa City Downtown District has many safe and fun holiday events in store for Iowa City. From Santa Saturdays that feature outdoor, socially distanced photo opportunities, to the Holiday Pop Up Shops, check out a full list of their holiday events at their website.

Those who want to avoid in-person shopping can shop the online Downtown Iowa City Holiday Market

For more information about Small Business Saturday  and other holiday celebrations happening in Downtown Iowa City  visit downtowniowacity.com.


Santa Cop Assists Foster Children with Winter Necessities

CRPD Santa Cop Event 1CEDAR RAPIDS, IA – The Cedar Rapids Police Protective Charity (CRPPC) is hosting their annual Cops & Kids Santa Cop event on Monday, November 22, 2021 at Target on Blairsferry Road NE from 1:00 – 7:00 p.m.  CRPD employees will be shopping with approximately 100 children in our community for winter clothing such as coats, boots and mittens. This year’s event will focus on families who have foster care and adopted children in their homes. 

The Cedar Rapids Police Protective Charity is a collaborative effort of Cedar Rapids police officers, community donors, and local businesses to provide assistance to those in need.  Each year the organization hosts events like Cops and Kids Back to School as well as Santa Cop.  All donations are tax deductible and 100 percent of donations go to making a difference in the lives of children in our community and fostering relationships with officers and the public. 

To donate, visit crpolicecharity.com, or checks may be mailed to CRPPC, 505 1st Street SW Cedar Rapids Iowa 52404 Attn.: Officer Charity Hansel.

For more information, please visit www.crpolicecharity.com.


Thanksgiving schedule announced for City of Iowa City

City of Iowa City administrative offices and other facilities will be closed Thursday, Nov. 25, and Friday, Nov. 26, 2021, in observance of the Thanksgiving Day holiday.

Please note that trash, yard waste, and recycling will NOT be collected on Thanksgiving Day, but will be collected on Friday. Detailed schedule changes and other office closures are below. 


Other office closures and schedules for the holiday include: 

Airport: Office closed both days.

  • Jet Air available 7 a.m.- 7 p.m. on Thursday. Regular hours on Friday
  • After hours callout (for a fee)
  • 24-hour-self service available

Animal Care and Adoption Center: Closed both days; open again Saturday, Nov. 27, 2021. Cemetery: Office closed both days. 

  • Artificial wreaths and flowers, or other decorations may be placed on graves for the holidays.
  • These materials will remain in place through February. If not claimed, they will be removed.

Landfill and Recycling Center: Closed Thursday. Open regular hours Friday, 7 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

Library: Closing at 5 p.m. Wednesday; closed Thursday; open 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Friday. ICPL Bookmobile: Not in service. Parking: Office closed both days; reopens Monday, Nov. 29, 2021. 

  • Ramps and meters will not be enforced on Thursday. 
  • Normal enforcement Friday. 
  • Ramps will be free on Saturday for Small Business Saturday. Meters will be enforced.

Parks and Recreation: Administrative offices closed both days. All facilities closed Thursday. 

  • Robert A. Lee Recreation Center will be open 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. and the pool from noon to 8 p.m. on Friday. Open 6:15 a.m. to 1 p.m. and the pool from 9 a.m. to noon on Saturday. Normal hours on Sunday.
  • Mercer Park Aquatic Center will be open 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Friday through Sunday. Mercer Pool remains closed for renovations.
  • For more information, visit icgov.org/parksandrec

Police: Administration and Records offices closed. Patrol and station masters will be on duty. 

Refuse, Recycling, and Organics: No curbside collection on Thursday. Normal operations Friday. 

  • Residents on Thursday and Friday routes: have materials to the curb by 7 a.m. Friday.
  • Reduce holiday waste: compost at the curb. More: icgov.org/ThanksgivingTips2021.

Senior Center: Closed both days. 

Transit: No service Thursday. Saturday schedules in place Friday/Saturday at no cost to riders. 

  • No Downtown Shuttle service Monday, Nov. 22- Friday, Nov. 26 due to UI Thanksgiving break. 

Water: Closed both days. For a water emergency, call the 24-hour emergency line at 319-356-5166. City offices and operations will return to normal schedules on Monday, Nov. 29. 


American Legion Road updates: Eastbrook Street to Buckingham Lane reopens Nov. 15

IOWA CITY -- Iowa CityWeather permitting, starting on Monday, Nov. 15, 2021, American Legion Road from Eastbrook Street to Buckingham Lane will be open to normal traffic. 

Also on Monday, American Legion Road will be closed to through traffic between Arlington Drive and Barrington Road. This closure will facilitate utility reconstruction associated with the American Legion Road Improvements Project. A detour route will be posted utilizing Scott Boulevard, Court Street, and Taft Avenue. It is anticipated that this phase of the project will be completed by August 2022. 

Motorists are to take note of this construction work and allow extra travel time or seek an alternate route during this time period. As always, caution should be exercised when traveling in all construction areas. More info on the project can be found at icgov.org/alrproject


City issues statement on arrest of Truth and Reconciliation Commission member

IOWA CITY -- On Thursday, Nov. 4, 2021, shortly after the conclusion of the Ad Hoc Truth and Reconciliation Commission meeting, an Iowa City Police officer noticed Commission chair Mohamed Traore in the lobby of City Hall, 410 E. Washington St. At that time, the officer knew Traore to have an active warrant for his arrest related to a 2019 second offense operating while intoxicated charge. Through the warrant, the court authorized and directed any law enforcement officer to take Traore into custody.

After speaking with Traore and confirming the validity of the warrant, Traore was taken to the Johnson County Jail. 

While the officers acted in accordance with the law, the City acknowledges this situation could have been addressed in a more private manner removed from the context of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission meeting.

"While I believe our officers were acting with the best intentions, I am keenly aware of the message the timing of this arrest sends to our community," said Iowa City Police Chief Dustin Liston. "We support the mission of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission and will continue to work to build trust with members of the community."


ICPL hours will change on Veterans Day

The Iowa City Public Library will be open 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Thursday, Nov. 11.

The Library will be closing early and the ICPL's Bookmobile will not be in service in honor of Veterans Day.

The Library and the Bookmobile will resume their normal operating hours on Friday, Nov.12.

For more details about ICPL’s holiday hours please visit: icpl.org/holidays

The Iowa City Public Library is a center of community life that connects people of all ages with information, engages them with the world of ideas and with each other, and enriches the community by supporting learning, promoting literacy, and encouraging creativity.


ConnectCR Pedestrian Bridge to be Named Alliant Energy LightLine™

CEDAR RAPIDS, IA – Cedar Rapids City officials, ConnectCR partners and Alliant Energy representatives announced today that the new pedestrian bridge, connecting Czech Village and New Bo, will be named the Alliant Energy LightLine™. The name reflects lights designed on the bridge’s rails and pylon that will be powered by Alliant Energy. The bridge will provide a unique element to Cedar Rapids’ segment of the American Discovery Trail for pedestrians and bicyclists. It is also part of the Great-American Rail-Trail.

Alliant Energy is proud to partner with the City of Cedar Rapids, ConnectCR and community leaders to improve the quality of life for residents,” said Terry Kouba, president of Alliant Energy’s Iowa energy company. “We are excited for the Alliant Energy LightLine to connect neighborhoods and trails while serving as a new iconic landmark in the community.”The project will include plazas on both sides of the river that provide historic interpretive exhibits and gathering areas. The west side of the river will include a connection to the recreational amenities at Mt. Trashmore.

The bridge will be built with a wide deck to accommodate users of all kinds. The deck will split around the bridge pylon to create separate spaces for pedestrians and bicyclists. The project is currently in the engineering phase, with design intended to honor the bridge’s location at the former CRANDIC railroad bridge and industrial history of the area. Construction will begin in 2023, with completion of the bridge scheduled for 2024. 

“We look forward to the bridge that will not only connect two vibrant destinations, but will also add recreational amenities along the riverfront. This project demonstrates the best of Cedar Rapids by providing valuable quality of life elements through partnerships with private businesses and community groups,” said Cedar Rapids City Manager Jeff Pomeranz.

The Alliant Energy LightLine is part of the ConnectCR Project, the largest public/private partnership in Cedar Rapids. The project includes plans for revitalizing Cedar Lake with accessible canoe and kayak launches, fishing piers and amenities, pedestrian boardwalk over the lake, challenge/obstacle course, and improved trail surfaces. The ConnectCR project includes over $8 million in private funds including $1 million donated by Alliant Energy.

“We’d like to thank Alliant Energy and all our donors for supporting ConnectCR and helping make the dream of a pedestrian bridge a reality,” said Mike McGrath, ConnectCR Board President. “This new bridge will light up a dark corner of our city, provide safe passage for the many who use the trail system, and also become a recreation destination for tourists. We’re excited to see what all this bridge brings to our community.”


Cedar Rapids Police Investigate Unattended Death

CEDAR RAPIDS, IA – On Monday, November 1, 2021 at 8:42 a.m., workers on the construction site located in the area of 64th Avenue and Edgewood Road SW contacted Cedar Rapids Joint Communications Dispatchers to report a person down in the area. Upon arrival, Cedar Rapids Police Officers located a deceased male. The name of the individual is being withheld until family can be notified.

There is an ongoing investigation to determine the cause of death. Based on the preliminary investigation, this appears to be an unattended death. The body will be transported to the Iowa Office of the State Medical Examiner in Ankeny for an autopsy.  The Police Department does not believe there is any risk to the general public as it relates to this death investigation.   

No further information is available at this time.