This Week in the Village: Dec. 15-21

Catch up on the biggest headlines, videos and photos published by Little Village in the past week.

Village Meat Market and Cafe in Czech Village is closing

Lou Oettinger Thompson Village Meat Market & Café, Cedar Rapids. Zak Neumann/Little Village

Published Monday, Dec. 16

After eight years of offering Cedar Rapids a traditional Czech butcher shop with a Southern accent, the Village Meat Market and Cafe is closing.

When co-owners Lou Oettinger Thompson and Hugh Lamont opened Village Meat Market in the Czech Village, it filled a hole left after Polehna’s Meat Market closed. That traditional Czech meat market had been operating since the 1920s, but its owners chose not to reopen after the shop underwent extensive damage in the 2008 flood. Continue reading…

People in Iowa City and Cedar Rapids will rally in favor of removing Donald Trump from office, as the U.S. House debates impeachment

President Donald Trump takes the stage during a rally at the U.S. Cellular Center. Wednesday, June 21, 2017. — photo by Zak Neumann

Published Monday, Dec. 16

As the first day of debate on the articles of impeachment against President Trump draws to a close, people in cities across the country, including Iowa City and Cedar Rapids, will hold rallies to support his impeachment and removal from office.

The Iowa City rally will be on the Ped Mall, near the Weatherdance Fountain. In Cedar Rapids, the rally will take place behind the U.S. Federal District Courthouse, which houses the local office of Sen. Chuck Grassley and Sen. Joni Ernst. Continue reading…

CommUnity’s Project Holiday helps families in need enjoy a holiday meal

Preparing for Project Holiday meal distribution at CommUnity, Dec. 16, 2019. — Zak Neumann/Little Village

Published Tuesday, Dec. 17

The name of the nonprofit changed earlier this year, but its mission didn’t.

CommUnity Crisis Services and Foodbank, formerly the Crisis Center of Johnson County, still offers crisis counseling, assists families struggling to pay rent and utility bills, helps individuals starting new jobs with basic necessities (such as buying boots and uniforms) and runs a food bank that serves approximately 1,000 families every week. And for the past 32 years, it’s also made sure that families in need could enjoy a holiday meal in their homes with Project Holiday. Continue reading…

Rep. Abby Finkenauer will vote in favor of impeachment

Rep. Abby Finkenauer — official photo

Published Tuesday, Dec. 17

Rep. Abby Finkenauer will vote in favor of the articles of impeachment against President Trump, the freshman Democratic member of Congress announced on Tuesday.

“I will be supporting both articles of impeachment and honor my duty to defend our constitution and democracy from abuse of power at the highest level,” Finkenauer said in a statement published on her official Twitter account. Continue reading…

Rep. Dave Loebsack announces he’ll vote to impeach Donald Trump

Representative Dave Loebsack speaks to the massive crowd on the Ped Mall. Sunday, Feb. 5, 2017. — Zak Neumann/Little Village

Published Tuesday, Dec. 17

Rep. Dave Loebsack announced on Tuesday afternoon he will vote for the articles of impeachment against President Donald Trump.

“I did not come to Congress to impeach a president,” Loebsack said in a written statement. “But to ensure our democracy is not permanently weakened, there is no other option but to support the articles of impeachment that the Judiciary Committee has presented to the full House of Representatives.” Continue reading…

Hall of Fame Hawkeyes Coach Hayden Fry, who also helped integrate college football in Texas, dies at age 90

Flowers and tributes to Hayden Fry placed at his statue on Hayden Fry way in Coralville. Wednesday, Dec 18, 2019. — Zak Neumann/Little Village

Published Thursday, Dec. 18

Hayden Fry, the coach whose name has become synonymous with Hawkeye football, died on Tuesday, his family announced in a written statement. He was 90.

“With our family at his side, Hayden Fry, beloved husband, father, and grandfather, passed away following a lengthy battle with cancer,” his family said.

Fry spent 20 seasons as the University of Iowa’s head football coach, and during that time transformed the team. When Fry started his career at Iowa in 1979, the Hawkeyes weren’t considered a serious competitor by anyone other than their most die-hard fans. Continue reading…

Cedar Rapids City Council approves rezoning proposal for Cargill’s 12-track, 200-car rail yard next to Rompot neighborhood

Cedar Rapids residents and Cargill employees at the Dec. 17 Cedar Rapids City Council meeting. — Izabela Zaluska/Little Village

Published Wednesday, Dec. 18

The Cedar Rapids City Council voted for a final time in support of rezoning land next to the Rompot neighborhood and Prairie Park Fishery, giving Cargill the necessary approval to build their 12-track, 200-car rail yard.

Cargill has been trying to get a rail yard for almost two years, with plans shifting back and forth between the city-owned property south of Stewart Road and the “farm property” on Otis Road. Continue reading…

Anvil Meat Market and Deli to open in former Village Meat Market space

Blood sausage, purchased from Ruzicka’s Meat Processing in Solon. — Zak Neumann/Little Village

Published Wednesday, Dec. 18

Village Meat Market and Cafe announced over the weekend that it is closing on Dec. 29, but Czech Village won’t be without a butcher shop for long. Steven Prochaska, who owns the Sausage Foundry and Bohemian Grocer in NewBo City Market, will buy Village Meat Market and reopen it as Anvil Meat Market and Deli in the spring, the Gazette reported on Wednesday.

“We are going to still have some of the old Czech recipes, and also in-house cured and smoked pastrami, corned beef, bacon, smoked sausage and more,” Prochaska told the paper. Continue reading…

‘We have work to do’: Laura Bergus and Janice Weiner officially join the Iowa City Council

Iowa City Councilmembers (l to r), Pauline Taylor, Janice Weiner, Mazahir Salih, Laura Bergus and Susan Mims. Thursday, Dec. 19, 2019. — Zak Neumann/Little Village

Published Thursday, Dec. 19

The two newest members of Iowa City Council took their oaths of office in the council chamber on Thursday afternoon. Laura Bergus and Janice Weiner, both elected to at-large seats in November, were sworn in by City Clerk Kellie Fruehling.

For Bergus, it’s a new role in a familiar setting. Her first job as a teenager was televising council meetings for the city’s cable channel. While doing that, Bergus developed what she calls her “nerdy passion” for local government. Continue reading…

Current issue: Little Village issue 275 — Best of the CRANDIC 2019

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