News, Sports Feed

Adjusted Pool Schedules Begin This Week

CEDAR RAPIDS, IA – As in previous years, the Cedar Rapids outdoor pools will begin adjusted schedules in August based on decreased attendance, darkness and staffing levels. Bever Pool is scheduled to close on Friday, August 6. The Bever season will culminate in the K9Splash! dog swim on Saturday and Sunday, August 7 and 8, in the same way it has for the last fourteen years (except 2020).  

On weekdays, through August 13, Cherry Hill Aquatic Center will be open for afternoon swims, from 1:00-5:00 p.m., and evening swims, from 6:30-8:00 p.m. It will be open on weekends for open swim from 1:00-6:00 p.m., and close for the season at 5:00 p.m. on August 22.  

Noelridge Aquatic Center will be open for afternoon swims, from 1:00-5:00 p.m. through August 20. It will be open for evening swims from 6:30-8:00 p.m., through August 13. Noelridge will remain open for weekend swimming, with open swim from 1:00-6:00 p.m., through Labor Day. Noelridge will close at 5:00 p.m. on September 6.  

Lap swims, at both aquatic centers will be held on weekdays from 11:45 a.m.-12:45 p.m. and 5:15-6:15 p.m. through August 13. On weekends, lap swim will be from 11:45-12:45 p.m. on days the two pools are open. The Last Gasp! Swim, the last opportunity to swim on a weekday afternoon this summer, will be held at Noelridge on Friday, August 20 from 1:00-5:00 p.m.  

Schedules and any changes are posted on the City’s website at The availability of slides and water features may vary due to staffing. A list of indoor swimming opportunities at Bender Pool, is available in the fall Play! guide mailed to Cedar Rapids homes the week of August 9.

Mini Pines Opens Today

CEDAR RAPIDS, IA – The Cedar Rapids Parks and Recreation Department will host a grand opening celebration for Mini Pines, a new miniature golf course next to Twin Pines Golf Course. The grand opening event will feature a program with speakers, ribbon cutting, and opportunity to explore the course from 3:00 to 4:30 p.m. After 4:30 p.m. the course will be open for paid play. Golf staff will be available for interviews about the course between 2:00 to 3:00 p.m. or following the ceremony.

WHEN:           Opening ceremony at 3:00 p.m. Interviews available between 2:00 to 3:00 p.m. or following the ceremony.

WHERE:        Next to Twin Pines Golf Course, 3800 42nd Street NE.

WHAT:           Grand opening for new miniature golf course

Natural winterkill impacts local ponds and lakes

The Iowa City Parks and Recreation Department has received reports of dead fish spotted in local bodies of water as the ice cover disappears following warmer temperatures. This winterkill occurs when ice barriers form on the surface of lakes and ponds, preventing oxygen circulation.

Iowa's winter weather included an accumulation of ice, blanketed by snow, which covered bodies of water for an extended period, and blocked crucial sunlight. This scenario impedes photosynthesis, which can cause aquatic plant life to die. The loss of aquatic plants results in less oxygen under the icy surface, ultimately causing the loss of fish. These winter fish kills are part of a natural cycle.

The Iowa DNR reports that fish kills are common at this time of year across the state. Although the number of impacted fish may appear to be large, it is rarely enough to have a lasting impact on pond health or the larger fish population. 

Parks maintenance staff remove the dead fish as time allows during regular park maintenance.

Twin Pines Golf Course to Open Friday

Cedar RapidsCEDAR RAPIDS, IA – The Cedar Rapids Parks and Recreation Department plans to begin the golf season with the opening of Twin Pines Golf Course, 3800 42nd Street NE, on Friday, March 19. The course will be open daily from 8:00 a.m. to dusk. The driving range will also be open and carts will be available as conditions allow. Courses will open with COVID protocol still in place and masking requirements in the clubhouse. Tee times are currently open at The Department anticipates opening Gardner Golf Course, 5101 Old Golf Course Road, on March 22 and Ellis Golf Course, 1401 Zika Avenue NW, in April. Season passes may be purchased online at or at courses after they open.

Brown Deer Golf Course Opens for the Season

All 18 holes at Brown Deer Golf Club opened for the 2021 golf season on Wednesday, March 10, and will remain open as the weather allows. Initially carts must remain on the path, but Brown Deer will re-evaluate each day. The driving range remains closed.

To book a tee time or get updates on the current course status, call the Pro Shop at Brown Deer Golf Club at 319.248.9300 ext. 1.


Brown Deer Golf Club website

IFL 2021 Schedule Update

DES MOINES - The Indoor Football League (IFL) today announced changes to the 2021 season schedule after the League’s Board of Directors voted to push back the season in an effort to provide each of its member teams the best opportunity for a successful season. The IFL Kickoff Weekend is now slated for the weekend of May 14, 2021.

The Iowa Barnstormers 2021 season will begin on the road during IFL Kickoff Weekend on Saturday, May 15 at the Sioux Falls Storm. The Barnstormers will return home to Wells Fargo Arena for the first time in over a year for their home opener on Saturday, May 22 against the Duke City Gladiators. Kickoff is scheduled for 7:05 p.m.

“I’m trying to best meet the varying needs of all of our member teams, we determined as a league that delaying the start of the season is in the best interest of the IFL,” said league Commissioner Todd Tryon. “With a national footprint that stretches from the East Coast to the West Coast and from North Dakota all the way down to Texas, this season calls for us to be flexible and to consider the unique restrictions, or lack thereof, of each of our 12 markets.”

“We view this as a positive step as we have been able to put together a schedule that will allow each team the best opportunity for success in its own local market, while also allowing for additional time for our country as a whole to make greater strides in our collective efforts against the COVID pandemic. At the same time, we realize there will continue to be issues related to COVID and we have spent many hours developing plans on how we will deal with in-season situations that may arise.”

The IFL has developed a comprehensive system of COVID protocols and procedures that places the safety of the league’s fans, players, coaches, team and league staff, and partners at the forefront, including roster modifications, team testing procedures, limits on how teams interact within large group settings, and more.

In addition to the Iowa Barnstormers home opener on Saturday, May 22 against the Duke City Gladiators, the updated home schedule features the Bismarck Bucks (May 28, August 7), Sioux Falls Storm (June 19), Louisville Xtreme (July 17, August 14), and the Green Bay Blizzard (July 24).

The Barnstormers will be traveling a total of seven times with the new schedule. In addition to kicking off the season with a visit to the Sioux Falls Storm (May 15), the Barnstormers will travel to the Tucson Sugar Skulls (June 5), Bismarck Bucks (June 12), Green Bay Blizzard (June 25), Frisco Fighters (July 9), Louisville Xtreme (July 31), and will close out the regular season at Massachusetts Pirates (August 21).

Fans will notice that the updated schedule features 14 games, including seven home and seven away, instead of the previous 16 game layout. Barnstormers Season Ticket Holders will receive the seven regular home games plus the first post-season home game in their season ticket package.

Once again this season, all home games will be played at Wells Fargo Arena in downtown Des Moines, Iowa.

"We are excited to be back in action," said Iowa Barnstormers President Jeff Lamberti. "We appreciate our fans patience and support throughout this trying year and hope the Des Moines community will embrace our return in a safe manner."

The Iowa Barnstormers are working closely with the facility regarding seating regulations for the 2021 season due to Covid-19 restrictions. The health and safety of fans, players, and staff is the organization’s top priority. Information regarding Season Tickets and Single Game Tickets will be available soon.

The full 2021 Iowa Barnstormers schedule can be found here:

Saturday, May 15

@ Sioux Falls Storm 7:05PM

Saturday, May 22

vs. Duke City Gladiators 7:05PM

Saturday, May 29

vs. Bismarck Bucks 7:05PM

Saturday, June 5

@ Tucson Sugar Skulls 7:05PM

Saturday, June 12

@ Bismarck Bucks 6:05PM

Saturday, June 19

vs. Sioux Falls Storm 7:05PM

Friday, June 25

@ Green Bay Blizzard 7:05PM

Friday, July 9

@ Frisco Fighters 7:05PM

Saturday, July 17

vs. Louisville Xtreme 7:05PM

Saturday, July 24

vs. Green Bay Blizzard 7:05PM

Saturday, July 31

@ Louisville Xtreme 6:05PM

Saturday, August 7

vs. Bismarck Bucks 7:05PM

Saturday, August 14

vs. Louisville Xtreme 7:05PM

Saturday, August 21

@ Massachusetts Pirates 6:05PM

Mercer Park Aquatic Center Pool to reopening for lap swim reservations

Iowa City Parks & Recreation will be reopening Mercer Pool for reserved lap swim on Monday, Dec. 14, 2020. Reservations will be available for 45-minute blocks from 6 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday. Reservations are required and are available on an ongoing basis from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. beginning Tuesday, Dec. 8, 2020.

Both residents of Iowa City and non-residents can make reservations, which cost $4 per lane per block. Reservations will be for 45-minute lap swimming or water walking blocks for adults 16-years or older. Parents or guardians of children between the ages of 12 and 15-years-old must reserve an additional lane in conjunction with their adult reservation. No one will be admitted without a reservation.

How to reserve a lap swim time

Reservations may be made online at, via the Active Net activity registration system, or call 319-356-5100 to reserve your time.

No one will be admitted without a reservation. Visitors will be asked to follow the general COVID-19 safety practices and guidelines. Those include maintaining 6 feet of distance from one another, wearing a mask when not actively in the water, refraining from gathering, and exiting the facility promptly at the end of the reservation.

Currently, all pool passes are suspended. Passes purchased before pool facilities were officially closed on March 16, 2020, will be honored when the pools resume regular operations. If a pass holder would prefer a refund instead of an extension, they may request one by contacting Sydney Stodola at

For all Iowa City COVID-19 news, updates and resources, visit our web page at

The first of Iowa's two shotgun deer seasons open Dec. 5

Iowa DeerThe first of Iowa's two shotgun deer seasons open Dec. 5

Blaze orange clad hunters moving through Iowa’s timber will be a common sight when the first of two shotgun deer seasons open Dec. 5.  An estimated 120,000 hunters participate in the shotgun seasons, harvesting about half of the total number of deer for the year.

“Shotgun deer seasons are important tradition for Iowa deer hunters as well as an important time for herd management,” said Tyler Harms, deer program leader for the Iowa Department of Natural Resources (DNR).

Hunters have reported harvesting more than 26,000 deer so far this year, which is about 1,000 more than this time last year, and that’s good news, Harms said.

“From our standpoint, that’s something we like to see because coming in to the season, people were concerned about reduced deer numbers due to the widespread hemorrhagic disease outbreak last year. If we project this harvest out, not factoring in any curveball Mother Nature would throw at us, we are trending to our goal of harvesting between 100,000 and 120,000 deer,” Harms said.

Iowa’s first shotgun deer season is Dec. 5-9, and second shotgun deer season is Dec. 12-20.

Changes to deer seasons

  • The antlerless deer quota has been adjusted in 23 counties.
  • The January antlerless deer season will not be offered this year except in certain zones for chronic wasting disease management.
  • The first shotgun season buck-only restriction has been removed in Winnebago, Worth, Hancock, Cerro Gordo, Franklin, Hardin and Grundy counties.

Basic firearm rules are important for a safe hunt

The first of Iowa’s two shotgun deer seasons opens on Dec. 5, and while optimism for a successful hunt is the primary focus, hunters are encouraged to brush up on safe hunting practices.

Basic firearm rules are pretty straight forward: treat every firearm as though it were loaded; always point the muzzle in a safe direction; be sure of your target and what’s beyond it; keep your finger off the trigger until ready to shoot. READ MORE

Iowa deer exchange

The inaugural season for the Iowa Deer Exchange has attracted 350 Iowans who indicated they were interested in receiving venison and 60 hunters willing to provide it.  The deer exchange, along with the Help us Stop Hunger (HUSH) program, allows hunters an opportunity to provide high quality lean protein to their neighbors, while continuing to do what they enjoy – hunting deer.

“We’re pleased with the participation we’ve seen thus far, and the large number of registered recipients shows there’s an audience who wants venison. We’re encouraging hunters who are making their plans now to consider picking up another doe tag and registering to donate venison,” said Harms. 

To sign up for the Iowa Deer Exchange, go to then scroll down to Iowa’s Deer Exchange Program link and fill out the required fields. The database creates a map and table with information deer donors and deer recipients can use to get connected. There is no cost to participate. It is illegal to sell wild fish and game in Iowa.

Hunter who prefer to use the HUSH program are encouraged to contact a participating locker before they harvest a deer to see if the locker has any additional drop off instructions. The list of participating lockers is available at the scroll down to the Help Us Stop Hunger link. The HUSH program is a partnership between the Iowa DNR, the Food Bank of Iowa and participating meat lockers.

Deer tissue collection to survey for chronic wasting disease

The Iowa Department of Natural Resources (DNR) has a goal each year of collecting more than 4,600 deer tissue samples statewide to test for chronic wasting disease and the majority of those samples come from the two shotgun deer seasons.

“We are prioritizing samples this year to try to improve the information we are getting from this important effort. The deer that give us the best opportunity to detect this disease in new areas are adult bucks,” Harms said. After adult bucks, priority goes to adult does, then yearling buck and finally yearling does.

The surveillance effort includes collecting a minimum of 15 samples from each county, with higher quotas assigned to counties where the disease has been found in wild deer or have high risk of the disease due to adjacent counties with positive animals. To date, the DNR has collected and submitted more than 1,000 samples for testing this year.

Hunters willing to provide a sample are encouraged to contact their local wildlife biologist to arrange for the collection.

In the event that the county or priority area quota has been filled, or if the hunter is interested in testing a fawn or other nonpriority deer, hunters may choose to pay for their own test through a new partnership with the Iowa State University Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory.

Hunters will need to contact their local wildlife staff and ask how they can get their deer tested through the new hunter submitted option. The DNR will collect and submit the sample on their behalf. There is a $25 fee for the laboratory to run the test. Results should be available within 2-3 weeks.

Deer Management Zones

Special antlerless deer licenses are available, outside of regular county quotas, in specific areas where the DNR would like to focus additional harvest to increase deer samples as part of its surveillance effort for chronic wasting disease.

The DNR has identified 12 of these deer management zones in nine counties. Information on these zones, where to buy a license and local contacts for samples is on pages 33-34 of the Iowa Hunting Regulations.


New option to report your harvest

Hunters who harvest a deer are required to report their harvest by midnight on the day after it is tagged or before taking it to a locker or taxidermist. The hunter whose name is on the transportation tag is responsible for making the report. If no deer is harvested, no report is necessary.

New this year is the option to report your harvest via text message. Simply text the registration number on your deer tag to 1-800-771-4692 and follow the prompts. Hunters are still able to report their harvest online, by phone, or using the Go Outdoors Iowa app. Reporting using the app is straight forward, fast and easy. Hunters have their confirmation right on their phone and also receive it as an email.

Deer harvest numbers are an important component of Iowa’s deer management plan.


Donated deer hides benefit disabled veterans

Hunters donated more than 4,100 deer hides to Elks Lodges across Iowa last year, which was a slight decrease from the 2018-2019 season. The deer hides are used by the Veterans Leather Program to make professionally-crafted leather gloves for veterans in wheelchairs and also turned into leather used for therapy programs for recovering veterans.


Traditional Thanksgiving pheasant hunt will be a little different this year

PheasantWith many holiday gatherings put on hold due to the pandemic, pheasant hunting is one way to keep an annual holiday tradition alive, while staying apart.

“Pheasant hunting is a big part of Thanksgiving for many families but with health experts advising against gatherings, this tradition won’t look the same as in year’s past, but it can still be part of the holiday,” said Todd Bogenschutz, upland wildlife biologist for the Iowa Department of Natural Resources. 

He said hunters who do not live in the same house are encouraged to drive separately to the hunting spot and when they arrive, to space out and not congregate while in the field.

What they’ll find in the field is a pheasant season that’s off to a good start.

“I’m hearing really good reports, good pheasant numbers from all parts of the state despite the state experiencing an unusual number of days with gale-force winds and temperatures in the 70s,” said Bogenschutz. “Everybody that’s hunting in good cover is finding and getting birds.”

That’s good news heading in to the Thanksgiving holiday and might be just enough incentive to delay the trip to the couch until the afternoon hunt is completed.

Iowa’s pheasant season closes Jan. 10, 2021.

Places to Hunt

The Iowa DNR’s online hunting atlas lists nearly 700,000 acres of public hunting land, including 22,000 acres of land enrolled in the popular Iowa Habitat and Access Program (IHAP) allowing hunter access to private land.

Each area on the atlas includes a link to a map with property boundaries, the size of the area, habitat type, species of wildlife likely found, if nontoxic shot is required and more. The map is available as a downloadable pdf that can be printed or saved to a smartphone.

Twin Pines Golf Course Closes for Season November 29

Cedar Rapids, IA –  Twin Pines Golf Course will close for the season at the end of play on Sunday, November 29. The course will also be closed on Thanksgiving. Twin Pines is the last Cedar Rapids municipal course to close for the 2020 season. The clubhouse will remain open for holiday shopping, Monday through Friday, from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., and Saturday, from 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. The clubhouse will be closed between December 24 and January 3. Call 319-286-5588 or go for more information.