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Friday morning read: Cedar Rapids cleans up its 'junk yard', Ernst 'appalled' by DACA fix, Local Pour offers international street food

An old electric pallet jack sits in the corner of a lot off of F Avenue NW between 3rd Street NW and 4th Street NW in Cedar Rapids on Wednesday, Mar. 21, 2018. (Stephen Mally/The Gazette)
An old electric pallet jack sits in the corner of a lot off of F Avenue NW between 3rd Street NW and 4th Street NW in Cedar Rapids on Wednesday, Mar. 21, 2018. (Stephen Mally/The Gazette)

Cedar Rapids cleans up its ‘junk yard’ after neighbors complain-

A city-owned “junk yard” set among homes and businesses in the Time Check neighborhood — a violation of the city’s own rules — is being cleaned up days after The Gazette questioned the space that has been a repository for an assortment of items — broken-down vehicles, heavy machinery, sewer plugs and concrete barriers — for at least four years.

The cleanup comes 10 weeks after a complaint of “public nuisance posing safety and health hazards” arrived from a citizen, and after a bubbling frustration among neighbors about what they viewed as an “eyesore” marking the entryway to their neighborhood, one facing a number of other issues as it continues to fight back from the 2008 flood. Read more...

 

Ernst ‘appalled’ by lack of inclusion, DACA fix in $1.3 trillion budget deal-

Sen. Joni Ernst is expressing frustration with the proposed $1.3 trillion budget deal Congress hopes to reach before a Friday night deadline, including the lack of a fix to protect young “Dreamers” from deportation.

Asked about stumbling blocks in the way of passage of the budget package to avert a government shutdown, Ernst voiced concern with the spending level and having too little time to study the 2,232-page document as well as not addressing the hundreds of thousands of immigrants who entered the country as minors but are temporarily protected from deportation by DACA, the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals policy, “which is such an important issue for many of us.” Read more...

 

Local Pour offers international street food in Cedar Rapids-

Justin Zehr enjoys seeing other people have fun. It’s why he likes working in the restaurant business, and it’s the driving philosophy behind Local Pour & Street Food, the new bar and restaurant he and business partner Tim Kindl opened March 5 in Kingston Village.

“This industry is an avenue where you can put your passion to work and get immediate gratification,” Zehr said. “Making a dish and seeing people enjoy it is very satisfying.”

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Kindl, who also owns Brick’s Bar & Grill, said the goal of Local Pour is simple... Read more...

 

UI, ISU presidents lament latest budget cuts-

Iowa State University and University of Iowa are poised to take the brunt of late-year funding cuts meant to balance the state budget, creating “an especially difficult situation,” ISU President Wendy Wintersteen said in a message to campus Thursday.

UI President Bruce Harreld likewise sent a message to his campus decrying the $11 million takeback of state appropriated resources for the current budget year, which ends June 30, and said the loss “will require difficult choices” and possibly necessitate change across campus. Read more...

A chat with Iowa baseball coach Rick Heller: Future goals, ‘Hellerball’ and more-

Rick Heller is in his fifth season as head baseball coach at the University of Iowa, turning the program around and into a consistent winner. His first four seasons produced the best four-year stretch in program history: 140 wins, a Big Ten Conference tournament championship and an appearance in an NCAA regional twice in the last three years.

Heller was interviewed Wednesday by The Gazette, talking about his team, his program, not getting the Iowa job when he interviewed for it initially and other things. Read more...

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