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Monday morning read: Opioids on the rise in Iowa, victim identified in fatal Cedar Rapids crash, Iowa City church marks 150th anniversary

Rod Courtney speaks during an Opioid Symposium at Mount Mercy University in northeast Cedar Rapids, Iowa, on Wednesday, April 4, 2018. Courtney’s eldest son Chad died from a heroin and fentanyl overdose Nov. 1, 2016. (Jim Slosiarek/The Gazette)
Rod Courtney speaks during an Opioid Symposium at Mount Mercy University in northeast Cedar Rapids, Iowa, on Wednesday, April 4, 2018. Courtney’s eldest son Chad died from a heroin and fentanyl overdose Nov. 1, 2016. (Jim Slosiarek/The Gazette)

Fentanyl, similar powerful opioids are on the rise in Iowa- In autumn 2016, Rod Courtney had a long conversation with his son, Chad.

Chad was on his way home from a 28-day drug treatment program. He was an artistic guy who loved to write music and poetry and in high school dreamed of becoming an Eagle Scout.

But as a teenager Chad started experimenting with alcohol and marijuana. As he grew older, he was in and out of treatment and in and out of prison for multiple drunken driving convictions and parole violations.

But on that day in 2016, Chad told his dad he was focused on getting better.

“He said, ‘Dad, I just want to get clean and do what’s right and make a difference and help other people,” recalls Rod Courtney, a parole and probation officer with the 6th Judicial District.

A month later, Chad was dead. Read more...

Victim identified in Cedar Rapids fatal crash- Authorities have identified the man killed in a rollover crash on Saturday.

Cedar Rapids public safety spokesman Greg Buelow said 18-year-old Jacob L. Markwell was ejected from a pickup that rolled over in the 2300 block of Otis Road SE near Cedar Valley Park. Markwell, of Cedar Rapids, was pronounced dead at the scene, authorities said. Read more...

Bethel AME Church marks 150th anniversary in Iowa City- With smiles and exclamations of “Welcome!”, parishioners of Bethel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Iowa City spent several minutes clasping hands and embracing one another Sunday.

The hugs are a weekly ritual, part of the Sunday service, but this week was marked with extra significance. The congregation was celebrating the church’s 150th anniversary in Iowa City.

Founded in 1868 in the same spot it still stands on South Governor Street in the Longfellow neighborhood, the church has weathered ups and downs over the century and a half of its existence. Read more...

Linn-Mar to again ask voters for school bond- While property tax rates will drop in the Cedar Rapids and Clear Creek Amana school districts, the Linn-Mar district continues to cope with a small tax base and a high property tax levy rate.

The school district’s tax rate will barely budge in fiscal 2019, according to school board documents, and is set at $17.37 per $1,000 of taxable assessed value. Read more...

Love of golf leads Larry Gladson to Hall of Fame- You can’t get through a conversation with Larry Gladson without talking about Zach Johnson.

That’s just the way it is. Gladson will forever be linked to the PGA star from Cedar Rapids.

And he’s OK with that.

“Zach has had a major influence on golf in the state of Iowa,” he said.

Gladson has to, which makes him much more than just Johnson’s youth coach.

Gladson will be inducted into the Iowa Golf Hall of Fame on Thursday at Glen Oaks Country Club in West Des Moines. While teaching a young Johnson the game is part of that story, it’s not the beginning or the end of it. Read more...

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