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Monday morning read: Iowa university sales go untaxed, D.C. trip breeds optimism for flood protection in Cedar Rapids, recovery operation scheduled for car in Cedar River

Jordan Strouse, a sophomore majoring in civil engineering from Milwaukee, Wis., finds the last text book he needs Jan. 16 for the spring semester at the Hawk Shop in the Iowa Memorial Union in Iowa City. Like at the UI, the campus bookstore at Iowa State University also collects no sales tax. (Cliff Jette/The Gazette)
Jordan Strouse, a sophomore majoring in civil engineering from Milwaukee, Wis., finds the last text book he needs Jan. 16 for the spring semester at the Hawk Shop in the Iowa Memorial Union in Iowa City. Like at the UI, the campus bookstore at Iowa State University also collects no sales tax. (Cliff Jette/The Gazette)

Tens of millions in university sales go untaxed- At the corner of downtown’s Clinton Street and Iowa Avenue sits an institution of sorts — Iowa Book & Supply, which for more than 80 years has served University of Iowa coeds seeking course materials and game-day apparel.

Since the 1990s, Virgil “Scooter” Hare has managed textbook sales here, giving him a front-row seat to their decline.

“I’ve seen the sales slowly tapering down,” he said. Read more...

D.C. trip breeds new optimism for federal aid in Cedar Rapids flood protection- A small delegation of Cedar Rapids officials returned home from a short trip to Washington, D.C., last week with renewed optimism that federal aid for flood protection is on the horizon.

A year and a half ago, Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, cast doubt on whether federal money would ever come — a possibility city officials internally were bracing for. But recently, several things have lined up for Cedar Rapids. This includes a heavy push from Iowa’s congressional delegation, President Donald Trump $1.5 trillion infrastructure proposal and the 10-year anniversary of the 2008 flood.

“It just feels like everybody is working toward the same goal of getting federal funding,” Cedar Rapids Mayor Brad Hart said. Read more...

Recovery operation scheduled for Monday for car that went into Cedar River- A dive is scheduled for Monday morning to recover a vehicle that had gone into the Cedar River on Sunday.

Cedar Rapids communication coordinator Gail Loskill said the Cedar Rapids police and fire departments and Johnson County Dive Team will conduct a water recovery of a vehicle near the Mohawk boat ramp, 101 J Ave. NW, at 11 a.m. The boat ramp will be closed and the area will not be accessible during the operation, authorities said. Read more...

Alisabeth Von Presley gearing up for first national tour- Theatrical spotlights have been shining on Alisabeth Von Presley most of her life. Five years ago, she stepped into the concert realm, with her first singing gig at CSPS Hall. It sold out.

Armed with the confidence and experience she has gained from performing on local stages and in “American Idol” and “The Voice” television competitions, the 30-year-old Cedar Rapids singer, songwriter, actor, dancer and photographer is embarking on her first national tour. Read more...

Explosive third quarter nets Kirkwood women's basketball another regional tournament crown- Longtime Kirkwood women’s basketball coach Kim Muhl insisted there was no fiery halftime speech.

The second-half fortunes of his team would rely on a pair of program staples — defense and rebounding.

“We just talked about defending and giving them one possession instead of two or three,” Muhl said after the top-seeded Eagles opened the second half with 18 of 20 points and ran past third-seeded NIACC, 65-52, in the NJCAA Division II regional tournament championship game Sunday at Johnson Hall. “It’s just a mindset. I think you’ve got to want to do it.” Read more...

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