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Wednesday morning read: Grassley, Ernst and Blum push for answers on flood protection, a popular restaurant expands, Ferentz settles

(File photo) U.S. Sen. Joni Ernst (R-Iowa) (from left) answers a question as U.S. Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) looks on during a press availability after a breakfast with the Linn Eagles at the Cedar Rapids Country Club in Cedar Rapids on Monday, Oct. 24, 2016. (Stephen Mally/The Gazette)
(File photo) U.S. Sen. Joni Ernst (R-Iowa) (from left) answers a question as U.S. Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) looks on during a press availability after a breakfast with the Linn Eagles at the Cedar Rapids Country Club in Cedar Rapids on Monday, Oct. 24, 2016. (Stephen Mally/The Gazette)

Seeking answers on flood funding: In their latest attempt to press the Army Corps of Engineers to release money for the Cedar Rapids flood control system, U.S. Sens. Chuck Grassley and Joni Ernst and U.S. Rep. Rod Blum are asking about how the agency makes "human safety exemptions." Estimates for the Cedar Rapids flood control system fall below the preferred 3-to-1 benefit-to-cost ratio to receive federal aid. However, the Army Corps makes exceptions when human safety is a factor. In fiscal year 2017, five projects got this exception -- all of them located in costal states. The Iowa lawmakers want to know why. Read more >

Meanwhile, the City of Cedar Rapids is setting aside more money for permanent flood protection in its 2019 budget proposal >

 

Lisbon voters said "yes" to school bonds Tuesday: Voters in the small community strongly supported three separate ballot measures totaling about $9 million, with between 72 and 80 percent approval for each. The money will be used for updated classrooms, an auditorium and a track for the 650-student district. Read more >

 

30Hop expanding to Cedar Rapids: A Coralville restaurant known for its rooftop bar is taking over the Cedar Rapids rooftop location that was formerly home to Axel's Sports Grill and Rock Top Bar & Grill. 30Hop is part of a restaurant group that owns and operates more than a dozen restaurants in the Corridor, but this will be their first expansion into Cedar Rapids. Read more >

In other restaurant news, Marion is thinking about a change in city code that would allow youth under age 21 to enter bars — during daylight hours >

 

Fireworks for Hawkeyes - just not quite enough: "A slog of a season got some much-needed fireworks and cotton candy, even with the disappointing result," writes Mike Hlas of Iowa's 96-93 loss to No. 4 Michigan State Tuesday night. Read more >

 

Ferentzes settle lawsuit before trial: The Saddle Club Road Homeowners’ Association and Kirk and Mary Ferentz have “reached a resolution" in a case alleging the couple is responsible for $9,600 worth of road repairs and violated a neighborhood easement with their landscaping. Read more >

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