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Thursday News Update

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By staff writer Jen Hoch

Local News

Speeding and other drugs

Two men were arrested in Cedar Rapids, Iowa and caught in possession of 52 grams o f marijuana as the result of a high speed chase. According to Johnson County criminal complaints, 19-yeard-old Patrick D. James Jr., and 21-year-old Bernard J. Butler II were speeding on Interstate 380, traveling 80 mph in a 70 mph zone before being caught with more than a 10th of a pound of marijuana.

The men allegedly exited the Interstate onto the North Liberty exist and onto Penn Street before driving around 70 mph in the 35 mph zone. According to police reports, the car came to a stop before one of the men, Bernard J. Butler II ran from the car. After a short-lived chase, police allegedly brought the man to back to his patrol car.

According to police report, a large plastic bag containing 35 baggies of marijuana was found on Butler’s original escape route, with the help of a K9 officer. Butler allegedly was caught with another baggie of marijuana as well as $480 cash. Patrick D. James Jr. admitted to smoking the marijuana in the car after changing his story about why he did not pull over after seeing the officer. According to police report, a drug recognition expert found James to be impaired from the marijuana. Both men now face charges; James of eluding and driving while under the influence, and Butler; possession of marijuana with intent to deliver.

New childcare center opens doors to community

The University of Iowa recently made plans to builder a child care center in west Iowa City due to a shortage of daycare options for families in the community. The University of Iowa Board of Regents began seeking third-party providers to build, operate and own the childcare facility. The center leased an area from the university off Melrose Avenue and Hawkeye Park Road. At least one of the Iowa City daycare operators fears competition with the new center.

Tom Moore, UI spokesman claims that current contracts with the centers will not be affected by the new facility, which will be open to the larger community of Iowa City. Currently partnering with 14 independent centers near campus, the university has a “campus connected” model for childcare.

The need for more facilities was found after a study of the local childcare center marked found the need for more childcare centers, especially for children of age 2 and younger.

The new childcare center will open doors for the community, ensuring safety for children being watched at times that their parent and or guardian cannot.

Director at Melrose Day Care, Janet Copastick, fears that the opening of a new center could signal the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics to knock down her facility to make way for additional parking garages. Many houses in the area have been contracted to be demolished for an extra parking lot.

Non-stop bus driver hits, injures motorcyclist

An Iowa City bus driver has been accused of a hit and run last week, September 11 while on duty. According to police reports, the driver failed to come to a complete stop while operating a transit bus. 35-year-old Jamar D. Collin allegedly pulled out the bus in front of a motorcycle approaching on Court Street, injuring the driver before he lost control of his motorcycle and crashed.

According to police report as well as a recorded video and several witnesses, Collins witnessed the scene of the crash and was aware of injuring the driver before leaving the scene of the crime.

Collins was arrested and now faces a count of leaving the scene of an injury induced accident, a serious misdemeanor.

Sources: Iowa City Press Citizen