Friday Morning Read: Turkey Trot inspires Cedar Rapids runners, Iowa State University sexual assault lawsuit to proceed, Iowa City kicks off Small Business Saturday

Eduardo Celis of Cedar Rapids jumps in the air at the finish line while wearing his turkey costume during the Cedar Rapids Turkey Trot 5K run/walk in Cedar Rapids on Thursday, Nov. 23, 2017. Celis finished with a time of 22:33.49. (Stephen Mally/The Gazette)
Eduardo Celis of Cedar Rapids jumps in the air at the finish line while wearing his turkey costume during the Cedar Rapids Turkey Trot 5K run/walk in Cedar Rapids on Thursday, Nov. 23, 2017. Celis finished with a time of 22:33.49. (Stephen Mally/The Gazette)

Taking stock at the Turkey Trot - Two decades ago, Thanksgiving looked a lot different for Bob Molsberry.

The lifelong athlete, at age 43, had just emerged from a nearly five-month stay in the hospital after being hit May 30, 1997, by a drunken driver while training for RAGBRAI. He wasn’t supposed to live.

But he did survive. And not only that, he thrived — forever changed, in more ways than one. Molsberry rolled out of the hospital a paraplegic in October 1997. By spring, he completed his first marathon via hand cycle. In September 2010, he completed an Ironman.

He’s done dozens of races before and since — including Thursday’s Cedar Rapids Turkey Trot 5K. Read more...

Judge allows ISU sexual assault lawsuit to proceed - A U.S. District Court judge is allowing a lawsuit alleging more Title IX violations against Iowa State University to proceed on limited grounds — but not on the “too vague and general” accusation that the institution ignored systemic problems within the Greek community.

The complaint, filed over the summer by a former ISU student, falls “far short of offering concrete allegations of a distinct pattern of similar prior sexual assaults by male members of the Greek community ... sufficient to place the university on notice that male fraternity members as a group posed an ‘acute risk’ to female students,” according to Judge’s Ross A. Walters’ ruling this month. Read more...

DOT wants more corn snow fences - Sometimes all that stands between motorists and blowing snow is eight rows of corn.

But that corn can help, said Craig Bargfrede, winter operations administrator for the Iowa Department of Transportation.

“If we can reduce the amount of blowing and drifting, it increases visibility for the traveling public, and it’s easier for us to get the road back to traveling conditions.”

The Iowa DOT spent $225,000 last year to pay farmers to keep corn standing along Iowa highways, grow grasses and shrubs as natural snow fences, and position bales of hay to stop drifting snow. Read more...

Small Business Saturday kicks off in Iowa City - Closing time on Small Business Saturday won’t mark the end of shopping local for visitors if officials from the Iowa City Downtown District can help it.

Rather, district officials plan to use the day to kick off a month of holiday events to attract shoppers and promote locally owned businesses. Among returning features like free horse-drawn carriage rides and Santa Saturdays, visitors throughout the next month will be able to take advantage of many new features, such as a Teddy bear room and a wrapped mystery gift room that raises money for the United Way. Read more...

What tax reform could mean for middle class Iowans - They are being sold as middle-class tax cuts.

With majorities in both chambers of Congress and a president in the White House, Republicans hope to check off one of their top policy goals: an overhaul of federal tax laws that includes reducing many tax rates, including for individuals and families.

The U.S. House and U.S. Senate have created separate proposals, but they hope to pass a bill and get it to President Donald Trump this year. Read more...

UNI Panthers to face Villanova in title game - Less than 24 hours after slaying second-ranked Arizona, North Carolina State fell victim to the upset bug as Northern Iowa rallied for a 64-60 victory over the Wolfpack in a Battle 4 Atlantis semifinal on Thursday afternoon in Nassau, Bahamas.

Northern Iowa (5-1) trailed by seven points midway through the second half, but extended its winning streak to five games behind freshman guard Tywhon Pickford (18 points, 18 rebounds) and 6-foot-10 senior forward Bennett Koch (16 points). The Panthers play No. 5 Villanova (5-0) on Friday in the championship game. Read more...

 

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