News, Sports Feed

Cubs sizzle with renewed focus on results -- and COVID-19 safety

Cubs WCHICAGO -- It's easy to look at the stats and quickly tell why the Chicago Cubs are off to a fast start to this shortened Major League Baseball season. Their 9-2 record -- after a nail-biting 5-4 win over the Kansas City Royals on Tuesday -- can be chalked up to the best starting rotation (1.95 ERA) in baseball, the third-best OPS (.792) at the plate and an exponentially improved-looking defense. But that wouldn't be telling the full story of the 9-2 Cubs -- certainly not in the age of COVID-19.


Chatwood fans 11, Cubs hit 3 homers to beat Pirates 4-3

Cubs WCHICAGO -- Tyler Chatwood matched a career high with 11 strikeouts in another terrific performance, and the Chicago Cubs used the long ball to beat the Pittsburgh Pirates 4-3 on Saturday night.

Javier Baez, Kyle Schwarber and Ian Happ homered as Chicago won for the fifth time in six games. The Cubs have gone deep in each of their first eight games for the first time since 1958.


Darvish shines as Chicago Cubs beat Pittsburgh Pirates 6-3

Yu Cubs WDarvish pitched six shutout innings, Jason Heyward hit a key two-run single and the Cubs beat the Pittsburgh Pirates 6-3 on Friday night.

Darvish allowed two hits, struck out seven and walked one, bouncing back nicely after he struggled in his first start last weekend against Milwaukee. The Cubs are counting on the Japanese right-hander to help anchor their rotation after he finished strong in 2019.


Báez homers twice, Cubs stay hot with 8-5 win over Reds

CubsCINCINNATI -- Two homers, a deft dive to score another run, and a couple smooth-as-ever defensive plays. Vintage Javier Baez, in time to keep the Cubs' surge going.

The sensational shortstop led the way offensively Tuesday night and Alec Mills went six solid innings for an 8-5 victory over the Cincinnati Reds that fit Chicago's early pattern.


Iowa among schools planning to play in front of all fans this season

Iowa HawkeyesIowa and other universities are still hoping to play football at full stadiums this fall.

Athletic director Gary Barta said Thursday that Iowa is planning to have unrestricted crowds at Kinnick Stadium, where last fall it averaged 65,557 for games, 20th in the FBS. Iowa also is modeling for reduced-capacity crowds, depending on guidelines from the state, the CDC and other agencies relating to the coronavirus pandemic.


Gardner and Ellis Golf Courses and Disc Golf to Open

CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa – Following Iowa Department of Public Health guidelines, Gardner Golf Course, 5101 Golf Course Road, Marion, will reopen to the public on Friday, May 1. Ellis Golf Course, 1401 Zika Ave. NW, will open for the season on Monday, May 4. Driving ranges will be open (Ellis will be mats only).  The courses will require social distancing in the clubhouse, in parking lots and throughout golf property. Tee times are required and have been extended to create more distance between players. While walking is encouraged, carts will be available but limited to one person only. Carts and push carts will be disinfected after each use.

In addition, the clubhouses will be used for check in and food purchase only, no loitering will be allowed. Only packaged food will be sold and all transactions must be made by credit card. Ball washers, water coolers and sand trap rakes will not be used on the course and golfers are encouraged to leave flag sticks in cups. For more information or to answer questions about accommodations, call Gardner Golf Course at 286-5586 and Ellis Golf Course at 286-5589.

The Parks and Recreation Department will also be reinstalling baskets to reopen disc golf next week.


NEWS FROM THE INDOOR FOOTBALL LEAGUE -- The Indoor Football League, America’s longest running professional indoor football league, announced Monday that it has cancelled the remaining games of the 2020 season due to the many unknowns surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic and the lack of definitive information as to when states will begin to lift stay-home mandates and again allow large gatherings such as sporting events.

“This is a decision we take very seriously, and it comes as a result of extended, thoughtful discussion among our Board of Directors,” said IFL Commissioner Todd Tryon. “Because there are so many critical unknowns that are out of our control, we feel as a league we would be best serving the health and stability of the IFL community by taking a proactive approach and focusing our talents and our resources toward preparing for a breakout 2021 season. The health and safety of our players, coaches, staff, and fans is our top concern."

The IFL’s Board of Directors also on Monday approved an extended 16-game schedule for the 2021 season to add additional value for season ticket holders and sponsors.

Among the many issues also facing the IFL in determining the feasibility of continuing the 2020 season include the difficulties to develop a modified schedule once arenas re-open, the amount of time needed for our players to safely regain playing form after not being able to train during this time, and the amount of time needed to allow our teams to properly prepare for a relaunch once staff is allowed to return to their offices.

“The IFL remains committed to the safety and well-being of our players, our team and league staff members, our fans, and our corporate partners,” Tryon added. “During this extraordinary time in our country, we have all been impacted, and we believe that it will take all of us working together to return to a semblance of normalcy. With that stated, I am extremely proud of how our IFL teams have taken prominent leadership roles within their respective communities to provide assistance and hope to those who need it most. We will continue those efforts as best we can and we will work directly with our local governments and healthcare providers to help in any way we can in the midst of these difficult times.”

MESSAGE FROM THE IOWA BARNSTORMERS - "While we are disappointed that we will not be having 2020 season for our Barnstormers fans, we feel this decision is in the best interest of the safety of our players, staff, and fans," said Iowa Barnstormers President Jeff Lamberti. "We will be releasing additional information for our fans and sponsors in the coming days."

The Iowa Barnstormers appreciate the patience and understanding of our fans and sponsors during this difficult time. The front office will be contacting our supporters in the coming weeks as we work out the logistics of the situation at hand. 

"As of today, it is our intention to return for the 2021 season," said Lamberti. "In this respect, the league announced that we have already committed to a 16-game season, rather than the 14-game seasons of the pat. Our ultimate decision will largely be made by the support we receive from our season ticket holders, sponsors, and the community at large."

Plan ahead for spring turkey in light of COVID-19

Turkey CallIf you are a spring turkey hunter, the DNR encourages you to plan ahead and get your hunting license and turkey tag at least 7-10 days in advance so tags have time to arrive in the mail before the season begins.

The rapidly evolving situation with COVID-19 is causing many retailers to change hours or how they do business, including those that sell hunting and fishing licenses. Consider buying online or visiting a retailer sooner rather than later. Don't wait until the last minute if you want to have your tags on time.

For youth season hunters: Youth season is April 10-12. Remember, if the youth does not fill their tag during the youth season, they may use it during the four remaining spring seasons until filled. The key is to purchase the youth season tag before season closes on April 12 because once the season is over, the tags can no longer be purchased.  

When you purchase online, your hunting license will be available immediately for download. Tags are mailed to the address on your record and will arrive in 7-10 business days. Thanks for planning ahead!


Stay safe during Iowa’s spring turkey seasons 

Protecting yourself during the COVID-19 national pandemic starts with following the guidance from state and national health experts – maintain at least six feet between each other, wash your hands with soap for 20 seconds, cover your cough, stay home if you feel sick and avoid groups of 10 or more people. These are unprecedented times and personal health and safety takes top priority.

Iowa’s spring turkey seasons begin with the youth-only season April 10-12, followed by the first general season April 13-16, second season April 17-21, third season April 22-28 and fourth season April 29-May 17. There is also the archery only season April 13-May 17. Hunters buying their tags online will need to plan accordingly and do it early.

Spending time in Iowa’s wild places this spring hunting turkeys is possible. The key is to follow the safety advice from health experts.

Brown Deer Golf Club Is Open

Brown DeerBrown Deer Golf Club in Coralville remains open, and golf is a great way to get exercise, fresh air, and de-stress during times of social distancing.

Brown Deer has taken the following precautions to protect the health of golfers and staff:

  • Staff washes hands using antibacterial hand soap throughout the day, and antibacterial hand soap is in all public restrooms at Brown Deer.
  • Golfers are asked to hand sanitize as they enter and exit Brown Deer Pro Shop and Divots! Bar and Restaurant.
  • High touch surfaces are being cleaned in our golf course spaces, building, and the Pro Shop throughout the day.
  • Golfers should not share clubs.
  • Golfers asked to not pick up merchandise.  Let a staff member help you. 
  • All hole cups have been raised a half inch above ground.  Hitting the cup counts as in. Flag sticks will remain in the hole, but won’t need to be touched.  
  • All ball washers have been removed.
  • Sand rakes have been removed from all the sand traps throughout the course.
  • Divots! serves to go items only.  Divots is currently stocking beverages and snacks only.   No one may sit inside the restaurant. 
  • Golf carts are sanitized between each round as they are returned. 
  • Golfers will swipe their own credit cards and grab their own receipts from each transaction 

For more information, contact Brown Deer Golf Club at 319.248.9300.

Iowa DNR: Meetings, classes, events cancelled

2020 annual spring sale cancelled

DES MOINES, Iowa -- In light of the Covid-19 and recommendations set forth by the CDC, the Iowa DNR is cancelling this weekend’s spring auction at the Iowa State Fairgrounds.

The auction was scheduled to take place in the Livestock Pavilion at the Iowa State Fairgrounds on Saturday, March 21. The public viewing on Friday is also cancelled.

At this time, no decision has been made whether this event will be rescheduled.

Parks Day at the Capitol & Gift to Iowa Ceremony

In light of the Covid-19 and recommendations set forth by the CDC, as well as the suspension of the legislative session and restricted access to the Capitol, the DNR is cancelling both the Parks Day at the Capitol and the Gift to Iowa Ceremony.

Both events were scheduled to be held on March 25, 2020 at the Capitol.

Donors scheduled to be recognized at this year’s Gift to Iowa Ceremony are encouraged to participate in the 2021 ceremony. A date has yet to be set.

Shooting sports/hunter’s safety classes

In accordance with CDC guidelines, and state recommendations, we are cancelling upcoming classes, field days, workshops, and advanced hunter education offerings through April 30.

These events are usually held within facilities that are currently closed or prohibiting gatherings of large groups due to the Covid-19.

The health and safety of our volunteers, participants, and staff is of utmost importance to us, that is why we have these cancellations. 

Due to the cancellation of our in-person hunter education courses and field days, we are recommending the following for hunting this spring: 

  • Anyone ages 15 years and younger are able to participate in hunting activities if accompanied by an adult 18 and older who holds a valid hunting permit.
  • Anyone ages 16 – 17 can purchase an apprentice hunting license to hunt alongside an adult 18 and older who holds a valid hunting permit.
  • Anyone ages 18 and older can complete the required hunter’s safety course online. 

We recognize this is an inconvenience and that it may not be the most desirable option to receive your hunter education certification. 

DNR cancels public meetings in West Union, Decorah

The Iowa Department of Natural Resources has canceled its public meetings in West Union and Decorah next week based on guidance from state and national health officials to avoid public gatherings of more than 10 people.

The meetings were scheduled to discuss chronic wasting disease after it was confirmed in hunter harvested deer in Fayette and Winneshiek counties.

The Iowa DNR will look for dates closer to deer season to reschedule these meetings.