Friday Morning Read: Flood Protection update, Homeless Count in Linn Co. near 300, Opening statements in Lamar Wilson's trial

Greenway plans, which would include parks in Time Check, Czech Village and along the Cedar River, on display at an open house at the National Czech & Slovak Museum & Library. (B.A. Morelli, The Gazette)
Greenway plans, which would include parks in Time Check, Czech Village and along the Cedar River, on display at an open house at the National Czech & Slovak Museum & Library. (B.A. Morelli, The Gazette)

Flood Protection Update - Residents on Thursday evening got their first comprehensive look in a couple of years at flood control measures planned for Cedar Rapids.

They were able to see the latest alignment that would protect the east and west banks of the Cedar River through downtown and also were able to weigh aspects still up the air, such as sprawling green space and a flood wall that could encompass Cedar Lake.

“People get anxious, but I applaud the city. I think they are doing it right,” said Gail Naughton, chief executive and president of the National Czech & Slovak Museum & Library, which hosted the open house and which would be directly impacted by the flood system. “They are building something that will last, and they are building amenities, not just barriers.” Read more about their plans here.


Homeless Count in Linn Co. - The July 2017 count of the homeless population in Cedar Rapids found 297 men, women and children in emergency shelters, transitional housing facilities or living on the street, according to a report released this week by the Linn County Continuum of Care.

For reference, the January 2017 count, conducted overnight on Jan. 25-26, found 397 homeless or near homeless — 111 people living in shelters, 284 in transitional housing and two on the streets.

The Point-in-Time count is a nationwise effort to determine the extent of homelessness in the United States. The counts are taken each year in January and July. Read more analysis on these numbers here.


Pat McCaffery Deals with "Trolls" - It began when Patrick McCaffery was a freshman. No, he didn’t completely understand it.

“At first, when it started happening to me, I was just like ‘Why?’” the Iowa City West junior basketball standout said.

Why would people, many of them adults, get on social media and attack a 15-year-old kid? Yeah, that’s pretty hard for anyone to comprehend.

“I didn’t play very much, didn’t contribute a whole lot just because we had four Division I starters on our team,” he said. “I got a lot of stuff my freshman year because I was supposed to be all this, all that. I just didn’t live up to those expectations. So it was like ‘You suck, you’re skinny, you’re trash.’ Just from random people.”

McCaffery is the son of Iowa head coach Fran McCaffery, so he’s an easy target. Read the full story here.


Lamar Wilson goes to trial - A prosecutor said during her opening statement that three people — Kaleek Jones, Xavier Hicks and D’Andre Hicks — “paid a price” Aug. 27 on the Iowa City Ped Mall because Lamar Wilson was angry over a Facebook post.

Johnson County Attorney Janet Lyness said the “price” they paid came when Wilson shot Jones, who died, and two other men, who were not armed and were seriously injured. And none of these men posted anything on Facebook that day. You can read the full story here.


Woody Harrelson at the UI - A sequel to “Zombieland” could be in the works. A second “White men can’t jump” probably is not. Iowa in January is the place to be. And sometimes you don’t realize you’re doing something great until you do it.

Oscar-nominated actor Woody Harrelson made those revelations and more during his visit to the University of Iowa on Thursday, after showing his film “Lost in London” for the first time in the United States since shooting it one year ago, with one camera, in one take, while livestreaming the feed into hundreds of theaters.

“I have a lot of respect for directors now, I mean a lot more than I did,” Harrelson said about his debut cinematic directing experience. Read the full story here.


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