‘Lifers’ in Iowa prisons leveling off

The number of Iowa prisoners serving life sentences has been rising for decades — aggravating space issues in Iowa’s penitentiaries and racking up costs for things like food and medical care. The number of people serving life sentences in Iowa went from 111 in 1980 to 680 in 2012. This year, that number appears to be holding steady, and officials say they expect to see it decline in the coming years.

Source: The Cedar Rapids Gazette

Posted on: June 4, 2013

Johnson County officials want to revise spillway policies, but study unfunded

Since 2010, the Army Corps of Engineers has been trying to fund a study that could change protocols for how much water is released from Coralville Lake, which might prevent floods like the 2008 flood that caused more than $1 bilion in damages to Iowa City and Coralville. But the study would cost $4.7 million — a hefty price tag in a time of federal budget cuts — and has failed to gain support from President Barack Obama or Congress.

Source: Cedar Rapids Gazette

Posted on: May 29, 2013

Gun tracing not consistent in Iowa

The federal government recommends tracing all firearms, but a Gazette review shows some of Iowa's largest police departments traced half or fewer of the guns they took in to custody last year. Some departments blamed lack of staff or long wait times. Others said the process rarely helps solve local crimes.

Source: The Cedar Rapids Gazette

Posted on: March 18, 2013

UI reviews hire of Ferentz’s future son-in-law

The Gazette reports on the hiring of Coach Kirk Ferentz's future son-in-law, Tyler Barnes, as an administrative assistant for football. The UI Athletics Department has a history of hiring family members. Usually a conflict-of-interest review is conducted. None has been conducted yet for Barnes.

Source: The Cedar Rapids Gazette

Posted on: March 7, 2013

UI Hospitals sends $180,000 in food waste to landfill

Investigative report from the Cedar Rapids Gazette digs up data from UI Hospitals, revealing 355,000 servings of food worth ended up in the dump. Liability worries keep hospital from donating prepared food. Check out response by Gov. Branstad. http://thegazette.com/2013/01/23/branstad-university-of-iowa-hospitals-could-do-more-to-reduce-food-waste/

Source: The Cedar Rapids Gazette

Posted on: January 24, 2013