B.A. Morelli

Reporter in Iowa. Send news tips to brian.morelli@thegazette.com.



Sinclair levee completed: First step in flood control protects NewBo District

CEDAR RAPIDS - Cedar Rapids has completed its first major piece of permanent flood protection nearly a decade after the devastating 2008 flood upended Iowa's second largest city.

On Friday, city officials celebrated the completion of the Sinclair ... »

Grace Episcopal latest to seek local historic landmark in Cedar Rapids

CEDAR RAPIDS - The rich history of the stately Grace Episcopal Church would be lost if a developer bought and demolished the building for another use, church leaders feared.

A bell tower soars above the corner of A Avenue and Sixth Street NE, and ... »

Army Corps nominee says he would examine federal formula for flood protection

The nominee for a top position in the U.S. Army of Corps Engineers said he would reevaluate the benefit-to-cost ratio used to determine which water infrastructure projects get federal money.

Iowa officials at the local, state and federal levels h ... »

Cedar Rapids voters show penchant for new faces

CEDAR RAPIDS - Fresh beat out experience in Tuesday's mayoral runoff election - but that's not unusual in Cedar Rapids, observers said Wednesday.

While Monica Vernon touted her accomplishments while serving on the city's planning commission and ... »

Brad Hart wins race for Cedar Rapids mayor

CEDAR RAPIDS - Business lawyer Brad Hart will be Cedar Rapids' next mayor after beating former City Council member Monica Vernon in a runoff Tuesday.

Hart took more than 54 percent of the vote.

Hart said he was excited to get started after a ... »

Cedar Rapids finalizes fireworks ban

CEDAR RAPIDS - The Cedar Rapids City Council finalized a ban Tuesday on setting off fireworks in the city.

The measure imposes stricter local limits that were allowed under a state law adopted earlier this year to legalize the use and sale of fire ... »

Possible gas odor forces evacuation, relocation of Cedar Rapids voting precinct

CEDAR RAPIDS - Per the Linn County Auditor's Office, a gas smell has forced evacuation of River of Life Ministries, 3801 Blairs Ferry Rd NE.

This is Cedar Rapids precinct 01.

#x201c;In compliance with a recommendation from MidAmerican Energ ... »

Vote: Runoff elections for mayor and council seat to be settled today in Cedar Rapids

CEDAR RAPIDS - Today is Election Day for two Cedar Rapids runoff contests. When voting concludes city residents should know their next mayor and District 5 representative.

Monica Vernon and Brad Hart vie for Cedar Rapids mayor, while incumbent Jus ... »

Coralville lights help bring in holidays

CORALVILLE - One night a year, thousands of white paper sacks - each filled with sand and a votive candle - create a magical scene on a winter evening in Coralville.

This year's Aisle of Lights celebration takes place from 5 to 9 p.m. Sunday, with ... »

Cedar Rapids mayoral candidate Monica Vernon: ‘Always on the ball,’ supporter says

CEDAR RAPIDS - In the mid-1980s, Tammy Stines was a graphic designer at Frank Magid Associates and Monica Vernon was a consultant leading marketing projects.

In effect, Stines worked for Vernon and was impressed by her leadership skills, drive and ... »