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Emergency winter overflow shelter in Cedar Rapids opens on Friday

With bitterly cold weather starting early this fall, Linn County made it a priority to open an overflow shelter for people experiencing homelessness “as soon as we possibly could,” said Ashley Balius, community outreach and assistance director for Linn County Community Services. […]

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Linn County library laggards can do good and pay off their fines this month by donating food items

The public libraries in Cedar Rapids, Hiawatha and Marion are accepting donations for nonperishable food items. For each item donated until Nov. 30, individuals will have $1 taken off of their fines for overdue materials. Those who have no fines but want to participate are also welcome to donate food items. […]

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Linn County Sheriff’s Office collected 42 pounds of prescription drugs during Take Back Day

This past Saturday, the Linn County Sheriff’s Office collected 42 pounds of prescription drugs as part of the Drug Enforcement Agency’s Take Back Day. The sheriff’s office had three collection sites where people could anonymously drop off expired, unused or unwanted prescription drugs. People were also able to drop off e-cigarettes and vaping devices. […]

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Ely Public Library receives this year’s Iowa Literacy Award for its summer reading initiative

Ely Public Library Director Sarah Sellon wanted summer reading to be about more than just kids receiving prizes for reading books. So, part of the library’s summer reading program for the past five years has been Reading Support, an eight-week initiative where children get paired with volunteers from the community and have a chance to work […]

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Linn County plans Dows Farm ‘agrihood,’ a housing development based around a farm

Outside Cedar Rapids, a different type of neighborhood is being planned. Imagine a golf course community, but instead of 18 holes, a small farm serves as the central amenity. The Dows Farm Agri-Community, an agrihood consisting of varied housing units, a farm and different services and trails, is planned to be built on 179 acres of […]

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A new fireworks regulation is now in effect

Setting off fireworks that have more firepower than a sparkler is illegal in Iowa City, Cedar Rapids, Coralville, North Liberty and the unincorporated parts of Johnson County. The one big exception has been unincorporated Linn County, and while it still is an exception to the general ban on fireworks, a new regulation regarding the small explosives is now in effect. […]

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Linn County Supervisor Stacey Walker discussed plans for making college affordable and other priorities in State of the County speech

The Linn County Board of Supervisors has begun work on a plan to make sure all eligible students in the county will be able to receive at least two years of college education, Board of Supervisors Chair Stacey Walker announced in his State of the County Speech on Wednesday. “We have yet to determine the […]

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Linn County unveils winning design in new logo contest

Linn County unveiled a new logo on Friday, replacing the image that’s been used as its logo, and on its seal and flag, since the 1990s. The new logo was selected from more than 30 submissions in a county-wide contest launched last October. “The multicolored logo signifies Linn County’s diversity in livelihoods including farms, businesses […]

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Johnson County joins Linn County in ‘banning the box’

Johnson County has officially “banned the box” by eliminating the requirement to disclose past criminal history on an initial county job application. The unanimous vote by the Board of Supervisors (with Janelle Rettig absent) to adopt the measure on Thursday, June 14, happened four weeks after Linn County became the first county in Iowa to […]

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Linn County Attorney answers questions about the wrongful arrest that is costing the county $285,000

On Wednesday, Linn County announced it would pay $285,000 to Joseph McBride to settle a lawsuit alleging the county and County Attorney Jerry Vander Sanden violated McBride’s rights by having him arrested and jailed for more than two months for a crime McBride didn’t commit. McBride had been arrested at his Arizona home in October for a home invasion robbery in Cedar Rapids that occurred early on New Year’s Day 2017. McBride was charged with the crime largely on the strength of the victim saying he recognized McBride in a Facebook photo. […]

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Linn County will pay $285,000 to a man wrongly arrested because of a photo on Facebook

Linn County announced on Wednesday it is paying $285,000 to settle a federal lawsuit against the county and County Attorney Jerry Vander Sanden. Joseph McBride had filed the lawsuit earlier this month, claiming that his rights had been violated when Vander Sanden signed an arrest warrant containing false information that led to McBride being arrested and jailed for two months.
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Man wrongly arrested for robbery because he was Facebook friends with other suspects sues Linn County

On Wednesday, Joseph McBride filed a federal lawsuit alleging that Linn County and Jerry Vander Sanden, the county attorney, violated his rights by having him arrested and jailed last year for a robbery committed in Cedar Rapids in January 2017. McBride spent approximately two months in custody, before all charges against him were dropped. […]

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