The city of Davenport teased the economic development news on its Facebook page Thursday morning and have confirmed that the largest membership-only warehouse store is coming to the city.
A spokesman for Costco declined to confirm the news, citing store policy.
“It’s great news, and they’ve been interested in the community for some time,” Mayor Frank Klipsch said. “For months, even before I was elected, I’d hear about residents saying, ‘Try and get us a Costco.’ It’s one of those retailers a lot of people want.”
The proposed site is on roughly 17 acres of land immediately west of Fire Station No. 8 on the north side of East 53rd Street.
A public meeting has been scheduled for 6 p.m. May 4 at the Eastern Avenue Library, 6000 Eastern Ave., Davenport.
While Costco has worked with the property owner about building a store at the site, Klipsch said more details will come out at the public meeting, including working with residents about potential concerns.
“To my knowledge, they’re not asking for any financial assistance, but there’s still a lot of details to work out,” Klipsch said.
The proposed site is in the 6th Ward, and although its alderman, Jeff Justin, has some concerns of his own, he was pleased that Davenport was able to attract the major retailer.
“We’ve been discussing bring a retailer like Costco for some time,” Justin said. “From what I gather, it’s a reputable business, and they treat their employees well. My concern with the location is the traffic and neighborhood impact, but I’m confident we’ll work things out, and it will be a great addition to the corridor.”
An man was given a deferred judgment and placed on one year of supervised probation Thursday after pleading guilty to failing to properly feed and seek medical care for a then-6-year-old Eldridge boy last year.
Jacob W. Brasmer, 25, must comply with the terms of his probation, including enrolling in and successfully completing a parenting course, Scott County District Court Judge Stuart Werling ordered.
If Brasmer successfully completes his probation, the conviction will not be entered on his record.
He pleaded guilty in October to child endangerment, an aggravated misdemeanor punishable by up to two years in prison.
Co-defendant Valarie R. Clark, 30, the boy’s mother, pleaded guilty earlier this month to neglect or abandonment of a dependent person, a Class C felony. She will be sentenced June 8.
Eldridge police say Clark’s son suffers from PKU, a disorder characterized by the inability of the body to process proteins. Babies are screened for the genetic condition soon after birth.
The boy was admitted to University Hospitals, Iowa City, on Feb. 9, 2016, because of low blood sugar and starvation, according to an arrest affidavit filed by police.
Doctors discovered that the boy was not being fed properly and was in long-term starvation. He also had not received required medical care for about three years, according to the affidavit.
Doctors said the boy could or might suffer long-term damage and he was in danger of dying before he was brought to the hospital, according to the affidavit.
Clark and Brasmer, her live-in boyfriend, knew about the required diet requirements and medical care needs for the boy’s disorder, according to the affidavit.
IOWA CITY — There are NCAA rule changes that Iowa football coach Kirk Ferentz doesn’t mind — he welcomes many of the recruiting calendar changes announced earlier this week — but the dean of Big Ten coaches is no fan of a change which eliminates two-a-day contact practices.
“It’s something that has been passed down, from my vantage point, with zero dialogue from people that work in football, out on the field,’’ Ferentz said Wednesday. “I worry about that a little bit. We’ll adjust, but the removal of two a days to me is a little short sighted.’’
Changes to the rules in recent weeks includes two components, first eliminating two-a-day contact sessions and a second change which mandates days off each week but allows teams to begin preseason work one week earlier while maintaining the existing limit of 29 preseason practices.
The two-a-day change — designed to lessen the risk of injury — does allow schools to have two practices on one day, one with contact lasting up to three hours and then a walk-through period with no contact or pads that can last up to two hours.
“I’ve never participated in a two-hour walk through and I don’t plan to in my lifetime,’’ Ferentz said, adding that Iowa’s contact sessions have never approached three hours in length.
Ferentz is not a fan of either change, but said Iowa players will be asked to report to camp earlier because of the latest change.
“When we talk about making the calendar better for our student-athletes, then we lengthen the time they’re in camp and shorten the break between summer conditioning and practice time, I just don’t feel it’s necessary,’’ Ferentz said.
“… It’s going to be a lot of wasted time, and quite frankly to me camp is about keeping guys on the clock, being efficient, making sure you’re moving. … I think there are other ways we could have done this without affecting the calendar.’’
DES MOINES — He’s not getting teary eyed, but Gov. Terry Branstad is a bit emotional in the final days of what likely will be his last legislative session as governor.
“Well, after 33 years involved with the Iowa General Assembly as a state representative, as lieutenant governor and, of course, 23 years of those as chief executive as governor, yeah, I am somewhat sentimental,” Branstad, 70, said Thursday between bill-signing ceremonies in his formal office.
Upstairs, lawmakers were making plans to wrap up the session before the end of the week.
He called it an honor to serve in and alongside the citizen Legislature.
“I’ve met a lot of wonderful people I’ve served with throughout the years and the people who have come to advocate for different matters,” said Branstad, who is awaiting U.S. Senate confirmation as ambassador to China. “I feel good about that. It’s kind of nostalgic.”
This is his second run as governor.
Branstad served six years in the House from 1973-79 before being elected lieutenant governor, serving with Republican Gov. Bob Ray.
He was elected Iowa’s 39th governor in 1982 — the state’s youngest at 36 — and served 16 years. After a 12-year hiatus working in business and serving as president of Des Moines University, Branstad returned to his Statehouse office in 2011.
It also has been satisfying, the Republican governor said, to serve through the 2017 session. There was speculation earlier that he might turn over the reins to Lt. Gov. Kim Reynolds in mid-session.
The satisfaction comes, in part, because he has a GOP-controlled House and Senate to work with.
“We worked very hard to get a Republican majority in the Senate,” he said, explaining that “we had a lot of bills that had been blocked” when Democrats controlled the Senate for the past six years he was governor.
Branstad wouldn’t say this has been the best session during his time as governor but said it ranks near the top as one of the most productive and significant.
“You know, there’s big things that have been done previously,” he said. “There have been a lot of other things done over the years. But when you look at the sheer volume and diversity of policy issues that have been addressed this year, it’s got to go down as one of the most productive.”
Sport united them in college; homemade suds keep them clean and close today.
Elyce and Nathan Billany met at Ashford University in Clinton, where they both played varsity soccer and honed their yearning for entrepreneurial ventures.
In 2015, the married couple took control of Iowa Naturals, a Quad-City-based business that specializes in handcrafted soaps, lotions and shaving balms.
“I would have never guessed this is what we would be doing — ever,” said Elyce, 26, a native of DeWitt, Iowa.
That goes for both of them.
“We knew we wanted to invest in something or at least do something on the side … but it had to fit in with our schedule,” Nathan, 27, said in his strong English accent.
Although they have grown fond of the soap business and the scientific process it takes to create their products, the couple did not start concocting soap out of the blue.
Old business, new owners
This year marks Iowa Naturals' 20th year in business in the Quad-Cities.
Founder Jill Sidney, who launched the enterprise in 1997 out of her Davenport home, coincidentally met the Billanys in 2015, about the time she planned to retire.
Elyce, who then worked as the sales and marketing manager for Village Cooperative of Crow Creek, overheard Sidney, a current resident there, talking about her soap business.
"Her ears perked up, and I handed her a business card," Sidney recalled.
As she grew her clientele back in the day, Sidney decided to sell A Hair Off Brady, a salon in Davenport, and concentrated on soap.
At their peak, Sidney, 68, said she and her husband, Bob, had a customer base of 6,000 people she shipped goods to across the country.
"It was something that I built, and I just didn't want to see it dissolve," she said.
The Billanys observed Sidney make batches of soap and trained with her several times before purchasing the business in September 2015.
"I feel really fortunate to have found them," said Sidney, who passed on her recipes and ingredients to the couple. "I think they're having fun with it."
'Better than watching TV'
The inventory now fills the Billanys' basement at their home in LeClaire, where they create their skin care products.
Elyce, who recently became the director of development for Trinity Health Foundation in Moline, handles the production side of things, while Nathan, a commercial lender for Walcott Trust and Savings Bank in Davenport, sticks to logistics.
At night and on the weekends, the duo invests about 20 hours every week into Iowa Naturals.
"It's better than watching TV," Elyce said, or "doing something separately," Nathan chimed in.
While each bar of soap contains a variety of ingredients, all of them contain olive oil, palm oil and palm kernel oil.
But how does it work?
They heat the oils and combine them with a blend of room-temperature lye, or sodium hydroxide, and water.
Elyce, who wears eye goggles and a protective mask for this part, mixes the oils and the lye solution together until the raw soap begins to thicken, or reaches trace.
The Billanys generate 13-pound blocks of soap at a time, which need to sit for about a month before they can be packaged and sold.
They market about 25 scented soaps, including rosemary, spearmint, lavender sage, "kiwi scrub" and "peppermint wake up."
Prime time to grow
On a table in the corner of their workshop, an unfinished bottle of Mississippi River Distilling Co.’s River Rose Gin hints at one of their recent projects.
Elyce added the alcohol to make their GINgerbread soap, which sold out during the holidays last year.
Since acquiring Iowa Naturals, the Billanys said they have increased the business' presence in the Quad-City community and beyond.
“Everybody’s focusing on not only what they put into their body, but what they put on it,” Elyce said, “and that’s been huge."
For men, Nathan, a native of Yorkshire, England, stands behind their shaving soaps.
"It's not the most masculine thing in the world, but the lotion sticks make (shaving) a whole lot easier," he said.
Their products are available online and at Hy-Vee on West Kimberly Road, Davenport, and The Soap Box in the Village of East Davenport.
They want to start a family within the next couple of years, but for now, they are enjoying their routine and learning how to run a small business.
"Even though we still have our daytime jobs, it’s a great way to understand how it all works," Elyce said.
Murder defendant Stanley Liggins scored a victory Thursday when a Scott County judge granted his request to fire his attorneys and appoint new ones.
In a written ruling filed late Thursday afternoon, 7th Judicial District Chief Judge Marlita Greve wrote that she had “no choice” but to remove public defenders Derek Jones and Miguel Puentes from the case following statements made by Liggins and Jones during a hearing earlier in the day.
“Mr. Jones’ statements that his relationship with Mr. Liggins is ‘toxic’ and that the attorney-client relationship has completely broken down are the two hurdles the other facts cannot overcome, and which show justifiable dissatisfaction to warrant substitution of counsel,” she wrote.
She appointed the state public defender’s office to represent Liggins.
Greve did not explicitly say in her ruling that Liggins’ third trial, which was scheduled to begin May 22 in Waterloo, would be postponed, but she wrote that “if a continuance is needed, all counsel shall confer with Court Administration to have that matter set for hearing.”
After the judge’s ruling came down, Scott County Attorney Mike Walton said prosecutors will continue to work the case.
“We will be ready to go when this goes to trial,” he said. “We have been ready for two years. We’ll be ready a year from now, we’ll be ready six months from now.”
Liggins is charged in the death of Jennifer Ann Lewis, 9, of Rock Island, on Sept. 17, 1990. The girl’s burned body was found near a Davenport elementary school. Prosecutors say she also was sexually abused.
The Iowa Supreme Court overturned the first conviction, and on Nov. 6, 2013, the Iowa Court of Appeals reversed the second conviction.
In the most recent reversal, the court said 77 police reports were not provided to Liggins' defense team and prosecutors did not disclose that a key witness was a paid police informant.
He has been held without bond at the Scott County Jail since February 2014.
Liggins filed his motion for new attorneys on April 6.
The 55-year-old, shackled and dressed in orange jail garb, vigorously denied during a 35-minute hearing Thursday that his request to fire the attorneys is a tactic to delay his upcoming trial.
“I’m tired of sitting in this jail,” he told the judge. “I’m tired of coming up here. I know y'all (are) tired of seeing me. The feeling is mutual. I just want to be represented right. I want to make sure everything goes right. Everything that we have now, I didn’t have in the first or second trial because they withheld it from me, and I finally got an opportunity to present everything that I need to present.”
He said that at the start of the case, he had made it clear what direction he wanted to go in when he talked to Jones and then-lead counsel Phil Ramirez. Ramirez later withdrew from the case because of health problems.
Liggins said that when Jones took over the case, he “changed everything that we talked about, and he changed it without letting me know.”
“I was surprised by it,” he said.
Liggins claimed to have 1,700 pages of newly discovered evidence that he said would prove misconduct on the part of the prosecution. He did not specify what that evidence is.
He further said that he had expected Jones to bring up the new evidence in February during a series of motion hearings and that he thought the attorney was not being truthful with him.
Liggins also claimed that he handed over the new evidence to Jones but he did not return them to him.
Jones said that he and Liggins have “significant disagreements” about pretrial and trial strategy and that they have tried to work through those disagreements to come to a mutual understanding that would allow them move forward.
“It’s evolved to the point where the relationship is essentially toxic,” he said. “I don’t see a way for us to move forward working together, at least in an effective way at this point."
Jones said that Liggins was being sincere in his request for new attorneys and that he didn't think Liggins was trying to delay the trial. However, he disputed Liggins’ accusations and said that he was not remembering their conversations accurately.
Walton argued in the hearing that there was no sufficient reason given to fire the attorneys and that it was clear that “Mr. Liggins wants to call the shots in this case, and that isn’t always possible.”
“When he asked what is holding Mr. Jones back, it may very well be the evidence,” he said. “He makes vague references to newly discovered evidence. I don’t know of any. I don't believe there is any. I don’t believe there is anything new that’s been produced unless it was a new investigation.”
He said that his office has spent hours readying the case for trial in May and that further delay would result in an “enormous waste of time that has been expended,” especially with no guarantee that things would change with new attorneys.
“Justice delayed is justice denied for the state and the victims as well, he said.”
In her ruling, Greve wrote that despite the fact that the request comes a month before trial, the motion essentially was filed on the “eve of trial.”
“Due to the complexity of the case, this is not a case that another attorney can become familiar enough with to step in and try the case in a month,” she wrote. “It could conceivably take another year before different attorneys are familiar enough with this case to go to trial.”
Greve noted the numerous hours that prosecutors and defense attorneys spent preparing for trial and that Lewis’ family “will have to wait for a long while again before they can get any closure for this case.”
“Those facts are not lost upon this court,” she wrote.
She wrote that Liggins has a right to a fair trial but said that he is not entitled to determine all trial strategy questions or to “call the shots,” as argued by prosecutors.
“Although he is not entitled to have the attorney of his choosing, he is entitled to have an attorney with whom he can communicate and trust,” she wrote. “Mr. Liggins has a right to participate in his defense and in order to do so, must have an adequate attorney-client relationship.”
The judge noted that Liggins did not mention that he had issues with his attorneys during the motion hearings in February and it wasn’t until a letter he sent to her on April 3 that she was aware that he claimed to have new evidence.
During the motion hearings, Jones was asked and “emphatically” stated that prosecutors had turned over everything he requested and thought they were not withholding any other evidence, she wrote in the motion.
A student-led project at Wartburg College that Michael Brown of Bettendorf helped with has won a $10,000 Davis Projects for Peace grant.
Brown, a senior at the Waverly, Iowa, college, and senior Joseph Tarawali will travel to Sierra Leone this summer to equip local farmers with solar poultry incubators that will boost production.
For their senior project, engineering students designed a new solar incubator system that can help small-scale poultry farmers improve their process and expand the poultry production sector in Sierra Leone.
“This project has required a lot of long hours in the lab, but we have been motivated because we know we will be helping someone, and we will get to see that in action,” Brown said. “This is an experience I will remember the rest of my life.”
It's taken years to get the Rockingham Road reconstruction project off the ground, but the city of Davenport is prepared to award the bid for the project next week.
The City Council will vote on whether to award the bid to Langman Construction for more than $2.44 million, which was not the lowest bid the city received.
Finance Director Brandon Wright disqualified a bid from Brandt Construction Co., citing significant delays in previous projects, such as the Jersey Ridge project, which led to negative community effects.
In a memo provided to the City Council, Wright said "the project manager gave Brandt a minimum score of 2 in the areas of 'Completion on Schedule' as well as 'Minimum Gaps Between Work Days.' Brandt also received a substandard score of 1.5 in the area of 'high quality citizen interaction, including notification to citizens of disruptions.'"
Wright also cited failure to adequately maintain project paperwork and documentation, especially related to change orders in his decision.
"It was based primarily on the contractor evaluation of the previous contract with Jersey Ridge Road and the findings from that," Wright said.
Langman Construction's bid was almost $200,000 more than the bid from Brandt Construction.
The city received a total of five bids for the project but deemed that only four were from responsive and responsible outfits.
Greg Jager, an attorney from the Pastrnak Law Firm, which represents Brandt, said an appeal also was denied by City Administrator Corri Spiegel.
In her decision letter to Brandt, Spiegel wrote, "the specific issues experienced as part of the Jersey Ridge project have a likelihood of reoccurrence in the Rockingham Road project, where sensitivity to construction impacts for both the business community and traveling public remain of utmost concern."
Jager said Brandt Construction has done more than $22 million worth of infrastructure work in the city over the past 10 years.
"If you end up spending more than $200,000 on this project, that's $200,000 you don't have for other infrastructure needs," Jager said.
Doug House, a representative of the Indiana, Illinois and Iowa Foundation for Fair Contracting, told the City Council during Wednesday's committee-of-the-whole meeting that his labor organization supported the city's recommendation.
"We have reviewed all the staff's recommendations and materials and have supplied additional materials that are necessary," House said. "We would ask for your support of staff's recommendations to move forward to support Langman Construction as the lowest responsible bidder."
Davenport is not alone is having problems with Brandt Construction.
The Rock Island City Council lambasted Brandt for missing deadlines last year with regard to its sewer relief project on 6th Avenue.
"We've had other communities in the Quad-Cities with issues with Brandt," Alderman Ray Ambrose, 4th Ward, said.
The council will make its decision next week, but Brandt still has not exhausted all of its appeals.
"We have not made the decision whether to appeal further to the full council," Jager said.
DES MOINES — Two of Gov. Terry Branstad’s reappointments to the Iowa Board of Medicine were denied new terms this week by 18 Democrats who withheld support over a 2013 board vote to ban the practice of using a webcam to remotely administer abortion-inducing pills to women in health clinics.
Senators voted 32-18 on the confirmations of Lake Mills Chairwoman Diane Clark and Iowa City Dr. Hamed Tewfik. That was two votes short of the two-thirds majority needed to win approval from the 50-member Senate. Both had been board members since 2011.
Majority Republicans were joined by Democratic Sens. Tod Bowman of Maquoketa and Kevin Kinney of Oxford and Ocheyedan independent Sen. David Johnson in supporting the medical board members during a contentious floor debate that drew charges of politics from both parties.
“You’re taking down an immigrant,” Sen. Randy Feenstra, R-Hull, said in advocating for Tewfik, who came from Greece, “an immigrant that loves Iowa, that loves the people of Iowa, that wants to serve, and in your political estimation, he made a wrong vote. He didn’t do what you wanted him to do, so you’re taking him down.”
Tewfik and Clark were part of an 8-2 board decision that cited health and safety concerns in issuing a rule requiring physicians to personally perform a physical exam to dispense abortion-inducing drugs — and not use telemedicine.
Opponents, including Planned Parenthood of the Heartland, contended the board was limiting women’s access to a legal medical procedure by banning telemedicine abortion services at Iowa clinics. The group sued the board in 2013.
In a 6-0 opinion, the Iowa Supreme Court ruled in 2015 that “after careful consideration, we hold that (the) rule ... places an undue burden on a woman’s right to terminate her pregnancy as defined by the United States Supreme Court in its federal constitutional precedents.”
Sen. Janet Petersen, D-Des Moines, said the board vote was the basis for her opposition to reappointing the two.
“This is the Board of Medicine,” Petersen said. “This is not Gov. Branstad and Kim Reynolds’ board that they politically stack with people who won’t back a woman’s constitutional right for a legal medical procedure.”
In a statement, Branstad spokesman Ben Hammes said, “It’s really unfortunate that two highly qualified individuals, who volunteered their time to serving Iowans, are prohibited from serving another term on the Board of Medicine because Senate Democrats wish to play the worst kind of petty partisan politics.”
Feenstra called the Democratic response intolerant.
“I’m tired of the Democrats thinking that, 'Hey, you know what, we believe in tolerance, we accept everybody. Oh no. No, just your agenda,'” he said.
Before Wednesday’s confirmation votes, which required a special resolution after majority Republicans failed to abide by an April 15 deadline, Branstad’s office withdrew the appointments of David Greenspon to the Iowa Finance Authority and Tom Conley to the Iowa State Civil Rights Commission at their request, Hammes said.
Senators voted to confirm nine other Branstad appointees, including Iowa Lottery Authority Chief Executive Officer Terry Rich, Iowa Labor Commissioner Michael Mauro and Chuck Gipp as director of the Iowa Department of Natural Resources.
DES MOINES — The Senate agreed Wednesday to pump up to $50 million annually into water-quality improvements through 2029 after turning back an effort to raise a constitutionally protected state sales tax that would have generated considerably more.
Senators voted 31-19 to use a mix of a water metering tax and the gambling-funded revenue available after the state pays off bonds used to finance community attractions and tourist destinations under the Vision Iowa Program. The state money would go toward cost-sharing plans to address water-quality challenges from urban wastewater issues to farm runoff pollutants.
Two Democrats joined 29 GOP senators supporting the bill, while 18 Democrats and one independent voted no.
Sen. Ken Rozenboom, R-Oskaloosa, called Senate File 512 the “next logical step” to continue momentum in implementing Iowa’s nutrient reduction strategy. But critics said it was too tepid of an approach in addressing a problem estimated to require billions of dollars to correct.
“This bill provides policy and funding for long-term, collaborative, science-based, non-regulatory projects that I believe will move the needle in reducing the flow of nutrients into Iowa’s rivers and streams,” said Rozenboom, who noted the state money would be supplemented by federal and local governments, industry and Iowa’s agricultural sector.
The bill now goes to the House, which is working on its own plan, for consideration in the waning days the 2017 legislative session.
Passage of the legislation came after senators voted 34-16 to turn back an effort by Ocheyedan independent Sen. David Johnson to better fund conservation, recreation and water-quality improvements by increasing the state sales by three-eighths of a penny. That would generate up to $200 million to be deposited in the voter-approved and constitutionally projected Natural Resources and Outdoor Recreation Trust Fund.
One Republican joined Johnson and 14 Democrats in supporting the alternative. Johnson noted that voters approved the trust in 2010 but it “sits empty without a dime of funding.”
Senate Minority Leader Rob Hogg, D-Cedar Rapids, said the vote was “a chance to do something historic that the voters want," but Rozenboom said the amendment called for raising taxes and was inconsistent with the intent of the bill.
Senators later voted 33-17 to oppose an amendment to put money generated by SF 512 into the trust fund.
Under the approved legislation, a portion of an existing tax on tap water would be converted to an excise tax dedicated to water-quality efforts, a pot of money growing to $12 million from 2019 to 2021. Another provision would capture $15 million from gaming in 2021 when bonds for Vision Iowa projects are paid.
Combined with more than $20 million in various programs annually that go toward water-quality improvements, Rozenboom said that would create a pool of $50 million, which could nearly double with matching funds until the package sunsets in 2030.
“I think we all understand that we do have a problem with water quality,” said Sen. Julian Garrett, R-Indianola. “I think it’s important that we move the ball, and I think that this bill does that. Given our financial situation, our circumstances, this is probably the best that we can do right now.”
In the House, the Appropriations Committee has approved an amended version of House File 612 that would make $513 million available for water-quality improvements from 2019 to 2031.
Slightly less than half would come from the excise tax on metered water, which would be phased in and split between helping finance loans and grants.
The excise tax money would supplement the more than $20 million a year in existing funds and, under the House plan, would be used for edge-of-field and infield water and soil conservation, demonstration projects, research and water-quality measurements.
Dale Jones has had a lot of the wrong kind of breaks in his college basketball career.
Broken wrists. Torn ACLs. Things like that.
In five years of college, he has been healthy enough to play less than half the time.
But maybe Jones got the sort of break he needs this week when he reportedly accepted an offer to transfer from Iowa to North Dakota for one last season at the college level.
The fact that Jones is leaving the Hawkeyes to play elsewhere is no big surprise. It seemed to be a foregone conclusion even before last season that he would take advantage of the NCAA’s graduate transfer rule, which allows players who have earned their degrees to play at another school without sitting out a season.
But both Jones and Iowa coach Fran McCaffery hedged any time they were asked about it. Late in the season, McCaffery would only say it was a “possibility’’ that Jones would leave.
“That would be his call,’’ McCaffery said. “He will graduate. If you graduate, you have the opportunity to go wherever you want. Does he want to come back? Does he want to go somewhere else? Does he want to play professionally? Once you graduate, it's your call. I'm happy he's going to graduate. He's done everything we've asked him to do.’’
In an interview at the end of the regular season, Jones said there still was some chance he could return to Iowa, but he said he definitely planned to play basketball somewhere next season.
“It’s not going to stop here whether I stay here or go somewhere else,’’ he said. “I’m probably going to ride it out until the doctors say I can’t play anymore.’’
In truth, the Hawkeyes needed Jones’ scholarship. They are losing only one other senior, Peter Jok, and they signed two high school players to letters of intent in November plus have a third commitment from McCaffery’s son, Connor, who could come in as a walk-on and may try to also play baseball at Iowa. They needed someone off last season’s roster to transfer in order to conform to the NCAA’s scholarship limitations.
Through no fault of his own, Jones never really made much of a contribution on the court during his two years at Iowa.
The former Waterloo West star missed his entire second season at Tyler (Texas) Community College after undergoing reconstructive surgery on his right knee. After transferring to Iowa in 2015, he played in only six games before injuring the same knee again and undergoing another surgery. Jones indicated at the time that doctors felt the initial surgery was done incorrectly.
He still was dealing with some swelling and lingering soreness when last season began. At about the time it appeared he might be ready to contribute, he broke his right wrist. He ended up playing a total of only 15 minutes in five games.
He went through Senior Day ceremonies prior to a March 5 game with Penn State and made his only career start that day, scoring his only three points of the season.
Because of all the missed playing time, Jones was granted a rare sixth year of eligibility by the NCAA.
North Dakota could be a good place for him to use it. The Fighting Hawks, coached by former Rock Island High School and University of Northern Iowa star Brian Jones (no relation), return three starters and the top three reserves from a team that won the Big Sky regular season and tournament championships, and earned the first NCAA tournament berth in school history.
If they have one glaring need, it’s perimeter shooting. The two departing starters, Quinton Hooker and Corey Baldwin, accounted for 158 of the team’s 228 3-point field goals last season.
The Hawks may get some help in that area from three Quad-Cities kids on the roster — former North Scott stars Cortez Seales and Marlon Stewart and incoming freshman Tray Buchanan of United Township — but they definitely could get a 3-point boost from Jones.
The 6-foot-7 forward may or may not have regained the athleticism he showed during his third season at Tyler, when he averaged 16.9 points and 8.3 rebounds per game, but by all accounts he still can shoot. He made 45 percent of his 3-point attempts that season.
If nothing else, he should provide some veteran savvy. He will turn 24 in December and will be among the oldest players in NCAA Division I next season.
Local law enforcement agencies are looking for the pictured people.
Austin Ruiz, 22, wanted by Davenport police for possession of a controlled substance with intent to deliver and operating a vehicle without the owner's consent.
Tonya Gray, 35, wanted in Rock Island County on two warrants for failure to appear/possession of methamphetamine.
If you have any information about these fugitives or any other felony fugitives, call the Crimestoppers of the Quad-Cities tip line at (309) 762-9500 or submit a secure tip on the Crimestoppers facebook home page by clicking on the "Submit a Tip" tab.
DES MOINES — A $1.766 billion health and human services budget adopted Wednesday by the House is less than this year and drops funding for health clinics that also offer abortions, such as Planned Parenthood.
The fiscal 2018 health and human services budget, which covers a vast array of health-related services from help with long-term care to dentistry for children, still must be passed by the Senate.
It passed in the House on a party-line vote of 55 Republicans and 42 Democrats.
Rep. Dave Heaton, R-Mount Pleasant, seemed to express the frustration of every appropriations subcommittee chair while presenting the budget.
“This has not been easy, but we have to budget within the funds provided to us by Iowa taxpayers,” Heaton said before the House approved House File 653.
He said the smaller budget, brought on by slower revenue growth than expected, “will have serious ramifications.”
Although the budget called for lower spending than the current one — $28 million after this year’s midyear de-appropriations are taken into account — the deletion of Planned Parenthood funds was particularly painful for Democrats.
Especially so because the plan calls for turning aside millions in federal funding to do so.
Although the GOP plan allocates $3.3 million in state funds for family planning, Rep. Beth Wessel-Kroeschell, D-Ames, said Republicans were leaving $3 million of federal funds on the table by refusing to invest $400,000 over ideological differences.
“Patients, not politicians, should decide how and where they receive their medical care,” she said. “Stop playing politics with the health of Iowans, stop the ideological train and fund the programs that are important to Iowa’s most vulnerable citizens.”
Rep. Lisa Heddens, D-Ames, itemized what she said were the “serious ramifications” Heaton referred to: the need to “protect everyday Iowans” by funding testing and treatment for sexually transmitted diseases, general health care, Pap smears and birth control supplies, as well as addressing elder abuse, smoking cessation, obesity and hepatitis.
The $3.4 million she talked about to do that would be “just a small smidgen to reallocate funds back to them.”
Also Wednesday, the Senate passed three budget bills dealing with infrastructure, economic development and justice and sent them to Gov. Terry Branstad for his consideration:
• HF 643, the infrastructure bill that passed the Senate 42-8, appropriates $98.4 million for fiscal 2018. It includes $73.9 million for Rebuild Iowa Infrastructure Fund, $10 million for the Technology Reinvestment Fund, $12 million for the State Bond Repayments Fund and $760,000 for the Revenue Bond Capitals Fund.
The bill also includes $5.2 million for water quality improvements and $3 million for the Renewable Fuels Infrastructure Grant Program. The bill also directs funds to a long list of agencies and projects.
• Despite misgivings, the Senate accepted House changes before voting 29-21 to send Senate File 509, the justice bill, to the governor.
“I’m amazed. The House took a bad justice systems and made it worse,” said Sen. Bob Dvorsky, D-Coralville, “Truly, there is no justice in the justice systems appropriation.”
• And the House and Senate both approved the economic development budget, SF 513, to appropriate $38.4 million from the general fund for the Department of Cultural Affairs, Iowa Economic Development Authority, Iowa Finance Authority, Public Employment Relations Board, Iowa Workforce Development and Board of Regents. This is a decrease of $3 million.
A companion bill, HF 654, also appropriates $38.7 million from other funds, an increase of $10.7 million. It passed the House 57-40 and the Senate 31-19.
The House also unanimously approved Senate amendments to a pair of bills — HF 564 and HF 565 — to give schools more flexibility and a career and technical education bill, HF 648.
House Appropriations Committee Chair Pat Grassley said Wednesday’s work makes him think “things are moving along very well … That’s good for this building so we can get this session wrapped up.”
A jogger was struck by a passing vehicle Wednesday in rural Scott County.
The incident occurred around 4:30 p.m. on New Liberty Road.
A 2016 Ford F350 was eastbound on Iowa 130 (New Liberty Road) just east of 50th Avenue when the vehicle's passenger-side mirror struck the jogger who also was traveling eastbound, according to a crash report filed by the Iowa State Patrol.
The accident was just west of Slaby's Bar & Grill.
The unidentified jogger was airlifted by MedForce Air Ambulance to University of Iowa Hospitals with unknown injuries.
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3. Ten years in Record Store Day is bigger than ever
On the first-ever Record Store Day happened in 2007, Reid Robinson didn't celebrate.
That's because the owner of Co-Op Records of Moline didn't find out about what is a now an international holiday for independent record stores — which is held once a year, on the third Saturday of April — until its third birthday.
Today, there's nothing low key about Record Store Day, which marks its 10th year on Saturday.
During the annual ritual fit for vinyl lovers and collectors, Quad-City area stores, such as Robinson's Co-Op Records, Co-Ops Records of Davenport and Ragged Records, will have a hand in releasing more than 400 limited-edition titles in LP, EP, 45-rpm and box set formats. Stores also are offering discounts on used items. Read more.
4. Ask the Times: Columbia Avenue District
A Times reader asks about an area just to the northwest of Vander Veer Park between Harrison and Ripley in which numerous apartment buildings with varying architecture stand that were built in the mid 1930s. The reader wonders if there's a story as to why they were built or if they were built for particular populations. They remind the reader of apartments seen in Chicago. Ask the Times columnist Roy Booker gets the answer.
5. Six things to do this weekend
Looking for something to do this weekend? Look no further. Times entertainment reporter Amanda Hancock has the lowdown on where to go and what to do. Read more.
6. Bettendorf filmmakers sell script to Paramount Pictures
Filmmakers Scott Beck and Bryan Woods are thankful that, 20 years ago, they sat at the same lunch table at Bettendorf Middle School.
That’s what launched a strong friendship and business partnership, made official in 2001 when the duo established their production company, called Bluebox Films. And that’s what made their latest — and, so far, biggest — success possible.
The Bettendorf natives have sold their screenplay, “A Quiet Place,” to Paramount Pictures. The horror film, set for release April 13, 2018, has attracted actors Emily Blunt, recently in “The Girl on the Train,” and John Krasinski, known for starring in “The Office,” and producer Michael Bay, who directed “Transformers” and “Pearl Harbor.” Beck and Woods will serve as executive producers. Read more.
On the first-ever Record Store Day in 2007, Reid Robinson didn't celebrate.
That's because the owner of Co-Op Records of Moline didn't find out about what is now an international holiday for independent record stores — which is held once a year, on the third Saturday of April — until its third birthday.
"The first couple ones were real minor and low key," Robinson said. "It took me a year or so to hear about it."
Today, there's nothing low key about Record Store Day, which marks its 10th year on Saturday.
"It's the biggest retail day of the year without question," said Robinson, who has owned the shop, which also houses a small music school offering guitar, bass, drums and piano lessons, for 22 years. "This year, they went all out. We're bringing in way more than we have in previous years."
During the annual ritual fit for vinyl lovers and collectors, Quad-City area stores, such as Robinson's Co-Op Records, Co-Ops Records of Davenport and Ragged Records, will have a hand in releasing more than 400 limited-edition titles in LP, EP, 45-rpm and box set formats. Stores also are offering discounts on used items.
It's now a tradition for Ragged Records, in downtown Davenport, to host a full-day of live music, from Quad-City and Chicago based acts, on Record Store Day, according to owner Bob Herington.
"It's a huge event for us and it's a big undertaking," he said. "We've seen huge growth over the years."
In previous years, the store, which shares a space with vintage clothing store Trash Can Annie's, has seen a line of 200 people awaiting its 9 a.m. opening time on Record Store Day.
"Everything is so limited that people line up to get that thing before the person behind them does," Herington said. "Some are these pretty hard to get."
Some exclusives up for grabs on Saturday include reissues of David Bowie's "Cracked Actor" and "Bowpromo," multiple special 12-inch singles from Prince, plus titles from Jason Isbell and the 400 Unit, The War On Drugs, Miley Cyrus and Tegan and Sara.
Robinson said the resurgence of vinyl — and Record Store Day — has filled his shop with music lovers of all ages.
"For people in my generation, records were everywhere," he said. "But for those in their 20s, it's like a new format that they get to experience for the first time."
The Co-Op Records owner, who has worked in music stores since he was 19, says that means his job is still "as fun as it sounds."
"For a while, we were just punching the clock. Things got stagnant," Robinson said. "Now it feels like I'm back working in the 1980s again."
Q. There's an area just to the northwest of Vander Veer Park between Harrison and Ripley in which numerous apartment buildings with varying architecture stand that were built in the mid-1930s. I don't see this anywhere else in Davenport. I was wondering if there's a story as to why they were built? Was it for a particular population? Was it various builders and owners? They remind me of apartments I've seen in Chicago. Any ideas? — Heidi, Davenport
A. It may be the Columbia Avenue Historic District. According to information on the National Register of Historic Places Inventory dated Nov. 1, 1984, the Columbia Avenue Historic District "is composed of 19 four- to six-unit apartment buildings built between 1930 and 1939, two similar from the 1950s, and a modern ranch house which is the only intrusive feature. The 'stem' of the district is Columbia Avenue between Harrison and Ripley, containing eight of the buildings. The remaining structures are located north and south of Columbia on Ripley and Harrison, and on Hayes Street one block north of Columbia. Each building has its own garage, located directly to the rear and accessible via alleys which bisect each block. The area is immaculately kept, with low ornamental shrubbery, foundation plantings, and occasional shade trees.
"What appears at first glance to be a collection of largely identical structures is revealed upon closer examination to be a subtle exercise in theme and variation. In this regard, all the buildings of the district contribute equally to its importance," the inventory said.
Q. I have a concern about the metal box at the southeast corner of Brady Street and Kimberly Road in Davenport. It's in pretty rough shape. Can it be painted or replaced? — Judith, Davenport
A. We contacted the city of Davenport to find out. Nicole Gleason, public works director/assistant city administrator, responded:
"Thanks for the question. This device is part of the red light and speeding enforcement cameras. The city contracts for this service, and it is the responsibility of the vendor to maintain these boxes. The city is holding on an extension of this contract until a decision is made at the Iowa state level on the use of these devices going forward. Once it is determined if the program will continue, the vendor will be scheduled to replace the devices."
Q. We have a man living by us who owns a few houses on the same street as his. He buys up furniture, clothing, appliances, stoves, kitchen refrigerators, deep freezers, curio cabinets. He is selling out of the rental garages, having six or more yard sales a year. He is not paying any taxes. Who do we contact? This is a business. — Reader
A. According to the IRS website, irs.gov/individuals/how-do-you-report-suspected-tax-fraud-activity, you would need to submit Form 3949-A for suspected unreported income. You can either print the form from the website, order by mail from the website or by calling the Tax Fraud Hotline at 1-800-829-0433. Note: The IRS does not accept alleged tax law violation referrals over the phone.
Due to press problems, some editions of Thursday's Quad-City Times will be delivered later than usual. Most subscribers will receive papers later this morning. A few will receive their newspapers later today or with Friday's newspaper.
Subscribers who have activated their Connect Me Local digital subscription can access online content at qctimes.com.
If you have not already activated your account for free access, please go to qctimes.com and click on the blue ACTIVATE button found .
Richmond Hill Players opens its 2017 season with Fred Carmichael's comedy, “Out of Sight, Out of Murder.” See the show at 7:30 p.m. Thursday-Saturday and 3 p.m. Sunday at the Barn Theater, 600 H K Robinson Drive, Geneso. Performances are also scheduled for April 27-30. Tickets, $12, are available at the Richmond Hill box office at 309-944-2244 or by visiting rhplayers.com.
2. Earth Day benefit
See a show for a good cause. Quad-City based bands Subatlantic and Us-Mode along with Iowa City group Hot Tang and Chicago-based shallou are playing at 7 p.m. Saturday as part of the 420 Fest at Baked Beer & Bread Co., 1113 Mound St., Davenport. Proceeds go to Nahant Marsh Education Center and World Relief. Tickets, $15, are available at Eventrbite.com.
3. 'The Tin Woman'
"The Tin Woman" opens this weekend at the Q-C's newest theater, The Black Box Theatre, 1623 5th Ave., Moline. Performances are set for 7:30 p.m. Thursday-Saturday, 2:30 p.m. Sunday along with shows April 27-29. For tickets, $15, call 563-284-2350 or visit theblackboxtheatre.com.
4. Sister wife album release
Sister Wife, the Q-C band comprised of Matt Ajishegiri and Samuel Carothers, have a new album to show off. The group is hosting a release party, with Iowa City based actKaren Meat, at 8 p.m. Friday at Rozz-Tox, 2108 3rd Ave, Rock Island. Tickets, $10, are available at eventbrite.com. For more information, visit rozztox.com.
5. Soulful show
The Sextones, a soul and funk group from Reno, Nevada, are co-headlining a show with Quad-City based cover band Have Your Cake. See the show, with opener The Good Company, at 7:30 p.m. Thursday at the Redstone Room, 129 N. Main St., Davenport. For more information, visit rivermusicexperience.org.
6. Get your Putnam portrait
To celebrate its 150 anniversary, the Putnam Museum & Science Center, 1717 W. 12th St., Davenport, wants to get your photo. The museum will host a community-wide photo shoot from noon to 3 p.m. Friday-Sunday. Portraits will be displayed in the Putnam’s Grand Lobby through the year and will then be part of the museum's permanent collection. For more information, visit putnam.org.
Quad-City veterans are eligible to pick out a suit at “Suits for Soldiers,” a free event from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. today at the Quad-City Veterans Outreach Center, 250 W. 35th St., Davenport. For more information, visit www.qcvetsoutreach.com.
The event includes lunch and the book exchange will be open. A food basket will also be provided to each veteran.
The Quad-City Veterans Outreach is a center focused on assisting and reaching out to veterans, and offers a comprehensive portfolio of supportive services designed to meet the needs of veterans and their families.
Through the generosity of individuals and our community, all programs and services are provided free of charge.
Humility of Mary Housing, 3805 Mississippi Ave., Davenport, will hold its spring semi-annual Fresh Start Benefit Sale from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Friday, April 28, and 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., Saturday, April 29. For more information, call 563-326-1330 or email@example.com.
Donations can be dropped off Monday through Friday between 8 a.m. and 4 p.m. through Friday, resuming on Monday, May 1. Donations are accepted throughout the year.
Humility of Mary Housing has 47 apartments that are used for families recovering from homelessness and there is a great need for single beds, dressers, kitchen tables, chairs and sofas to help furnish the apartments.
Donated items that cannot be used to furnish apartments or by the families are put in the sale and all proceeds are used by Humility of Mary Housing, Inc. for family support.
In light of continuing reductions in HUD funding, the Fresh Start Benefit Sale provides crucial supportive funds for families.
In the tightest game of the series, it took 22 extra seconds for the Fort Wayne Komets to beat the Quad-City Mallards 4-3 Wednesday night and take a 3-0 series lead in the first round of the ECHL Kelly Cup Playoffs.
Game 4 is at the iWireless Center on Friday at 7:05 p.m.
"It's definitely frustrating because it's one bounce, here or there for us," captain Chris Francis said. "Right now, it seems like they're getting the bounces and we're not. We've just got to stick with it, stick to the game plan."
Kyle Thomas scored the game-winner, burying a one-timer from Mike Cazzola from the slot past C.J. Motte 22 seconds into overtime. The puck deflected down into the corner to Cazzola, who had a quick one-touch pass to Thomas for the goal.
"All three of these games have been battles," Thomas said. "We're fortunate enough to be up 3-0 now, but we still have a long way to go. It's not over."
The Komet power play was a carry-over from the closing seconds of the third period. Grant Arnold lost his helmet, and as he was skating off to make a change, blocked a Komet shot. He was called for a penalty for playing without his helmet.
"I'm looking forward to watching the replay, I don't really know how my helmet came off but regardless, I was going for a change and then I saw the guy in the slot had the puck and I didn't want him to get the open look," Arnold said. "I went down to block it and obviously that's a penalty in this league."
This loss is perhaps the most frustrating because of how close it was to going the other way.
The Mallards came into the series being outshot a combined 74-31 but outplayed the Komets for long stretches, winning the shot battle 36-35. But they haven't been able to win the bounces, which have almost all gone Fort Wayne's way, including one big one in the second period.
Thomas was credited with just one goal, but may have scored two on a play where nobody seemed to know what happened. A shot from Shawn Szydlowski went up off Motte into the air, and bounced off something into the net to give the Komets a 3-2 lead at 17:16 of the period.
Thomas claimed it hit off his chest, the refs said the puck went off Mallards defenseman Guillaume Gelinas, and the fans at the iWireless Center felt it was a high-stick.
The goal stood, but the questions surrounding it lingered.
"It's unfortunate," head coach Phil Axtell said. "There's four refs on the ice and if it was clear cut and no questions, there shouldn't have been a discussion. But there was, and that makes me think it wasn't clear cut, no questions asked goal off of our guy."
It's a bounce that Fort Wayne has received all series, and one the Mallards are desperately searching for.
Michael Parks got the Mallards started off quickly, burying a puck from the slot just 1:27 into the game. Parks was perfectly positioned to capitalize on a puck that had been chipped off Brady Brassart’s stick to grab his first goal of the playoffs.
But Fort Wayne answered, and Mike Cazzola continued to torment the Mallards, redirecting a feed from Mason Baptista past Motte at 9:56. It’s Cazzola’s third goal of the series and ninth in his last 10 games.
The Mallards had plenty of looks as the period wore on, but the puck was either just out of reach, just missed the net, or just was turned aside by Komets goalie Pat Nagle.
Again, in a game of bounces, the Mallards came up just short.
"Quad-City played a great game tonight. Let's tip our hat to them," Fort Wayne coach Gary Graham said. "The first period, really our goaltender probably stole us a game tonight. The scoring chances definitely benefited them, they came out really hard and had a lot of chances in around the net they just missed or we had some good saves by Nags to keep us in it."
Gabriel Desjardins gave the Komets a 2-1 lead with another deflection goal, getting to the front of the net and tipping a shot from Garrett Thompson in at 3:14 in the second period.
The Mallards answered again, as Sam Warning jumped on a loose puck for his first goal of the playoffs.
After the go-ahead Komet goal in the second period, Alex Petan got the game to overtime, burying a one-timer after a shot from Josh MacDonald hit off the post, tying the game at 12:44 in the third period.
"I thought the boys played really well," Francis said. "They got some generous bounces on some of their goals that we can't control but the way we responded and fought the whole game, I love it. We would like the outcome to be different but there's still games left to be played. There's still another day."
Motte was once again stellar in net for the Mallards. He made 32 saves in the game, perhaps none bigger than a glove stop he made on Komets defenseman Jason Binkley, denying the Komets on a 2-on-1 rush with 12 minutes left in the third period.
"He's a game-changer," Axtell said. "If it wasn't for him these last three games it wouldn't be as close at it was. The save he had in the third was remarkable."
But once again, it was all for naught, and now the Mallards are faced with climbing out of an 0-3 series hole.
"We attack it the same way," Axtell said. "Lots of opportunities we didn't capitalize on. Hopefully next game we will."
Iowa basketball player Dale Jones plans to transfer to the University of North Dakota and play his final season there next season, according to a report in the Grand Forks Herald.
Since he is in line to get his degree this spring, Jones will able to play right away at North Dakota as a graduate transfer.
The 6-foot-7 forward played just 11 games in two seasons at Iowa due to knee and wrist injuries after spending three years at Tyler (Texas) Community College. Because he missed an entire season to injuries at Tyler and was able to play so little at Iowa, he has been granted a sixth year of eligibility by the NCAA.
A former Waterloo West star, Jones averaged 3.3 points and 2.0 rebounds in his limited time with the Hawkeyes. He had a career-high 16 points against Coppin State early in the 2015-16 season.
North Dakota, which lost to Iowa in December, is coached by former Rock Island High School star Brian Jones and will have three Quad-Cities products on its roster next season — junior Cortez Seales, sophomore Marlon Stewart and freshman Tray Buchanan.
Each month, Aleshyia Lagrone said her five children begin pestering her about when their books from Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library are coming.
“They all get excited when it’s time for their books to arrive,” Lagrone, of Davenport, said Wednesday as her children, particularly her 4-year-old daughter AXarhyia, waited to be part of a special Imagination Library celebration with the United Way of the Quad-Cities Area.
Today, AXarhyia was lucky enough to receive the 1 millionth book that has come into the Quad-Cities since the local United Way partnered with Imagination Library in 2008.
“This program really helps children learn to read and to love reading,” Lagrone said. “It has been a blessing because my bookshelves would not be half as full without Imagination Library for the kids.”
Weather permitting, the kids will take their books and go out and sit on the curb under a nearby tree and read their books, Lagrone added.
AXarhyia’s book this month, the lucky 1 millionth, is “Look Out Kindergarten, Here I Come.” It’s her final book from the program as she turns 5 next week and is old enough to enter kindergarten where she will have access to more books.
When the kids got their books, they opened them up and begin reading or asked Lagrone to read to them.
When asked if she enjoyed reading, AXarhyia was quick to respond. “Yes, I do. My favorite book is Cookie’s Week.”
AXarhyia was talking about the book about Cookie the cat by author Cindy Ward and illustrator Tomie dePaola.
Karrie Abbott, vice president of community impact said the program provides free books to children up to 5-years-old in Scott and Rock Island counties.
“We have 10,000 children enrolled in the program,” Abbott said. “That means that 10,000 free books are coming into the Quad-Cities each month for children to read.”
Abbott said she is amazed when she walks into kindergarten classes today and see children reading, and getting ready for lifelong education. “Kindergarten wasn’t like that when I was a child,” she said with a chuckle.
But reading is the basic skill that leads to all other learning, she said.
“Up until third grade kids are learning to read,” Abbott said. “From third grade on they are reading to learn.”
Jeff Conyers, executive director of The Dollywood Foundation, thanked the United Way for working to get books into the hands of children.
“On behalf of Dolly and our team at the foundation, I want to thank you for making a tremendous impact on the lives of children and families in your community,” Conyers said.
Parents with children ages 5 or younger may sign up for the program at unitedwayqc.org.
Less than 10 days after a popular meal site in Davenport opened its new location at 1602 Washington St., the city forced it to close this week, citing zoning issues.
Pastor Jim Swope, founder of Timothy’s House of Hope, which formerly served the hungry at 1407 W. 4th St., Davenport, acquired the property on behalf of Compassion Church, a nonprofit organization.
The property is zoned C-2, General Commercial District, which permits a church to operate there. The current zoning regulations, however, do not allow the owner to provide services to the homeless, said Bruce Berger, the city’s director of community planning and economic development.
Before the organization can continue serving breakfast on weekday mornings, as it has for the last several years below the hill, Berger said the property must be classified as Planned Institutional District – Housing and Supporting Services.
The city also directed the owners of the property to remove the Timothy’s House of Hope sign from the fence in front of the building, Berger said.
Swope said he met with city officials Tuesday, informed regular guests about the news and poured his last cups of coffee "until further notice" on Wednesday morning.
"Thousands of people have been through our doors," said Swope, who noted Timothy's served between 2,000 and 4,000 meals a month at its previous location. "We just want to help people."
Before closing, Swope said he opened the north side of the 37,950-square-foot building to the public. It formerly housed Mohassan Grotto’s bingo parlor and Northwest Turners Hall before that.
Swope hopes Compassion Church and Timothy's House of Hope someday will share the space, which needs updating, he said.
Prior to Tuesday's meeting, Swope approached Davenport Alderman Ray Ambrose, 4th Ward, about his move to Washington Street, but said he did not receive a warm welcome.
“He (Ambrose) just lit into me and said he didn’t want bums on top of the hill,” Swope said.
In response, Ambrose said a homeless outreach center does not fit into his vision for the business district, which he called one of the "oldest" and "most iconic" corridors in the community.
“It’s a huge issue with me and I’ll fight it to the very end,” Ambrose said. “I don’t have a warm and fuzzy feeling for the homeless as other people do.”
Swope said he eventually wants to host community gatherings and youth programs on site.
"We just wanted to be a blessing up there," Swope said. "Now that we’re in there, they’re shutting us down."
IOWA CITY — There is one less candidate in the ongoing chase for Iowa’s starting quarterback position, but as Drew Cook settles into a new role as a tight end, the new-look Hawkeye offense remains a work in progress.
With only two practices remaining this spring, including Friday’s 7 p.m. spring game at Kinnick Stadium, first-year offensive coordinator Brian Ferentz is good with that.
“We’ve gotten in what we need to evaluate guys and to find out what we’re good at,’’ Ferentz said Wednesday.
He said the emphasis remains on building an understanding of a new scheme first introduced to players about a month ago and encouraging growth through competition.
Ultimately, that will create Iowa’s season-opening depth chart.
“We’re not married to anyone. We’re going to do what’s best for Iowa football and what’s best for Iowa football is great competition,’’ Ferentz said.
That’s what he sees developing at multiple positions, including at quarterback.
Sophomore Nathan Stanley and junior Tyler Wiegers continue to battle for the chance to replace C.J. Beathard, with Ryan Boyle still in the mix on the next tier after Cook shifted to tight end four practices ago.
Ferentz does not expect a starting quarterback to be determined until fall camp although he said both Stanley and Wiegers have made progress through the first 13 spring practices.
“They’re competitive guys. It’s pretty even and it’s been well documented that no one has really separated. I think that’s good,’’ Ferentz said. “Again, it goes back to there are no incumbents. Nobody is owed anything or deserves this or is entitled to that.’’
That’s one reason he has no problem letting the two compete into preseason camp.
“At some point we’re going to need to make a decision and some separation would help, but right now I’m encouraged because they’re both pushing forward,’’ Ferentz said. “It’s a matter of both doing a nice job.’’
Head coach Kirk Ferentz said picking a starter at this point would basically be “throwing darts at a board.’’
He also announced the position change for Cook, a 6-foot-5, 235-pound sophomore who made the move last week.
Kirk Ferentz said he has been pleased with Cook’s progress at quarterback, but said there were too many other younger candidates in the mix to realistically provide him with an opportunity there.
“I think he can help our football team win sooner at tight end than at quarterback, so it was a decision that we kind of came to as a staff,’’ Kirk Ferentz said. “He was excited about it and is engaged in it. He has a tremendous upside and a great attitude about it.’’
The son of former Hawkeye all-American tight end Marv Cook fits into the mix of tight ends currently angling to replace George Kittle in the Iowa lineup.
“When you talk about moving positions, he’s not a guy you worry about,’’ Brian Ferentz said. “He’s a guy that you know will jump in and do the best he can. He has the physical attributes and has a real chance to be successful there.’’
As deep as Iowa is at tight end, it is equally thin at receiver where Adrian Falconer and Devonte Young will be the only scholarship players in uniform Friday. Matt VandeBerg continues to rehab a foot injury and Jerminic Smith sits because of academic issues.
Their absence has provided others, including walk-on junior college transfer Nick Easley, with an opportunity.
“I’m just looking to find a way to help the team, whether that’s on special teams or offense, whatever I can do,’’ said Easley, who competed last fall at Iowa Western Community College. “That’s my whole focus, finding a way to help the team.’’
Brian Ferentz indicated that role may include catching passes.
“Nick Easley has done a nice job. He’s not on scholarship, but he’ll play,’’ Ferentz said. “He’ll play more than maybe he anticipated because we are looking for the guys who can go out there and do things the way we want them done.’’
That’s where summer evaluation by Hawkeye coaches begins.
“What this spring has been about is finding out who are the guys we want to create matchups with,’’ he said. “I think we have a better idea of that, but I don’t think it’s totally going to play out until (fall) camp.’’
Iowa's legislative session isn't quite done yet, but the bill aimed at curbing inequities in the state's school funding formula is all but dead, according to lawmakers and others.
The Davenport Community School District has been complaining about the formula that allows other districts to spend more per pupil than it does. And although the Senate passed a bill to close that gap last month, it has remained stalled in the House.
"The main issue was there's no revenue to do it," Rep. Walt Rogers, chair of the House Education Committee, said this week.
Rep. Pat Grassley, the New Hartford Republican who chairs the House Appropriations Committee, where the bill currently sits, said he thinks the bill will be "part of the conversation next year."
Last month, the state's Revenue Estimating Conference said the government would fall $131 million short of anticipated revenues. That's changed much of what's happening at the Capitol, and lawmakers have been looking where to cut, not at new spending. The equity bill that passed the Senate has a first-year cost of $14 million and $204 million over the next 10 years. The legislation also dealt with inequities in transportation funding.
Bills are usually not declared officially dead until a session ends, but even local advocates held out little hope.
Sen. Roby Smith, R-Davenport, who shepherded the bill through the Senate, was loathe to give up. But, asked Tuesday night if the bill was stalled for this year, he said, "That's what I'm hearing."
A lobbyist who has been working with the Davenport district on the legislation, Margaret Buckton, said the bill ran into "a brick wall" because of the new revenue estimates.
Gov. Terry Branstad's office declined to comment. Earlier this year, Lt. Gov. Kim Reynolds said she was fairly confident the Legislature would act on the matter. Other lawmakers, including Senate Democratic Leader Rob Hogg of Cedar Rapids had said it was a priority. The issue already has been toward the top of the agenda for Quad-City-area legislators.
The inequity stems from a state-led shift in the 1970s away from a largely property tax-based funding system for schools that sought to make spending across the state more equitable.
Davenport's per pupil spending limit is $31 less than the statewide average, but some districts can spend $175 more per pupil than Davenport.
The equity issue gained attention when Davenport Superintendent Art Tate said he would spend beyond state limits. And in December, the state Education Department brought Tate up on an ethics complaint in connection with the issue. No hearing has been set on the matter, but school officials aren't backing down. Last week, the district passed a budget that included $2.7 million in spending that would go over the state's limit.
Officials pointed out that the progress made this year wasn't wasted. Because the Legislature is in the midst of a two-year session, the bill that passed the Senate can be taken up next year. In addition, while revenue estimates for the 2018 fiscal year also are down from expectations, there's hope in some quarters that future estimates could change that — or that other steps, such as the possibility of reducing business tax credits, could provide more revenue.