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Metro Pursuit Iowa City

Whether you're a lifelong resident of the Corridor area, a University of Iowa student, or just visiting the area, you've come to the right place if you're looking for information about lodging, dining, activities, finding a good mechanic, a lawyer and otherwise in the Metro area! Looking for a refreshing dinner experience? Find a restaurant that intrigues you in Metro Pursuit. Have some relatives coming into town and need some entertaining ideas? Find some in Metro Pursuit. Need to move? Find a house or apartment to your liking in Metro Pursuit. Serving the entire Corridor and the metro areas of Iowa City, Coralville, North Liberty, Tiffin, Riverside, Cedar Rapids, Hiawatha, Marion and surrounding communities!

Portion of Cherokee Park trail to close for storm sewer construction

CEDAR RAPIDS, IA – A portion of the park trail in Cherokee Park, 3855 Midway Dr NW, will be closed beginning on July 23, for a period of two weeks for storm sewer construction. The trail will be closed at Midway Drive and Johnson Avenue NW and will not function as a complete loop. The trail will reopen when the construction project has concluded.

28th ADA Celebration Welcomes Oregon Senator Jeff Merkley

Join us as we celebrate 28 years of the Americans with Disabilities Act.

Senator Jeff Merkley (D-Oregon) will be an honored keynote speaker at the 28th Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) Celebration from 10 a.m to noon on Saturday, July 21, 2018, in the Ped Mall​ in front of the Iowa City Public Library, 123 South Linn St. Senator Merkley will take the stage at 10:30 a.m. Mayor Jim Throgmorton will also be on hand to read a proclamation initially presented at the July 17 Iowa City City Council meeting.

Senator Merkley has been a strong voice for equality and justice for people with disabilities. The Senator has stated, “While it’s important to take a moment and recognize this critically important human rights legislation, this anniversary should also serve as a reminder that we can and should do better to improve the lives of Americans living with disabilities and their families. There is more work to be done to provide increased employment opportunities and improved access for those living with disabilities in communities across America.” 

ADA flyer

July 26, 2018, marks the 28th Anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act signed by President George H.W. Bush on July 26, 1990. The ADA and the ADA Amendments Act of 2008 (ADAAA) give civil rights protections to individuals with disabilities similar to those provided to individuals on the basis of race, color, sex, national origin, age, and religion. The ADA also ensures equal opportunity for individuals with disabilities for access to businesses, employment, transportation, state and local government programs and services, and telecommunications.

The ADA celebration is​ a ​free event​ for the whole family. Join the celebration and enjoy live performances by Combined Efforts: Celebrating Artists, Changing Perceptions, a local performance group inclusive to people with disabilities and Infinity Dance Group. ​There will be ​face painting, disabilities advocates, and resources. 

The following agencies will also be available: ​NAMI Johnson County, The Crisis Center, The Arc of Southeast Iowa, DVIP, Goodwill of the Heartland, Moms Demand Action, League of Women Voters, ​The City of Iowa City Government, Access 2 Independence, and Uptown Bill's Coffee House. 

Keith Ruff, an active disabilities advocate, and Mike Hoenig, with the Center for Disabilities and Development, will serve as emcees. Alissa Voss, with the Arc of Southeast Iowa, and Dave Leshtz, District Representative for Congressman Dave Loebsack, will be receiving the Bill Reagan Vitality Award and the Terry Cunningham Community Award, respectively. 

For more information about ADA, contact Erin Kay at 319-337-5400 or email

For more information about the Iowa City ADA Celebration, RSVP to the Facebook event.

Police Department adds shared outreach officer

The Iowa City Police Department has added a new outreach position to its team, as a result of a partnership with the City's Neighborhood Services Division and the Iowa City Downtown District.

Officer Travis Graves, a patrol officer for five years, will move into this new position and will split his time between addressing neighborhood quality of life concerns and added communication in the Downtown area. His regular duty hours are 6 p.m. to 2 a.m., Tuesday through Saturday and will include coordination with the Iowa City Downtown District's Nighttime Mayor.

"Both the Neighborhood Response Officer and Downtown Liaison Officer have provided great benefits to the community over the last five years, " Iowa City Police Chief Jody Matherly said. "As a result, the Department has created a new position to assist our current two officers. Officer Graves is the perfect match to continue providing this great service to our community." 

Graves will join Neighborhood Response Officer Rob Cash, who  works closely with landlords, tenants, neighborhood associations and City staff to address specific issues within neighborhoods, as well as Downtown Liaison Officer Colin Fowler, who helps establish relationships and communication channels with local businesses and pedestrians, and is a positive visible presence throughout the Downtown and North Side Marketplace. 

"The Downtown District and surrounding neighborhood residents advocated for this position," Iowa City Downtown District Executive Director Nancy Bird said. "We hope to replicate the success realized by the Police Department's daytime beat Downtown, and Neighborhood Response Officer, in reducing calls for service through proactive engagement."

Travis Gaves image

Which fast food joint has the best value meal menu? - Bachelor on the Cheap

Mike Thayer 2016 (2)

Fast Food
Who has the best fast food value menu?

By Mike Thayer

I recently did a fast food value meal challenge, challenging myself to eat nothing but fast food value meals for a week with a budget of just $50. 

Were there enough restaurants out there offering value meals that fit in that budget? Was there enough variety?  Did I stay full enough, no snacking between meals?

While that challenge started out well enough, it ended in epic fail.  I didn't blow the budget, but I did find that there really weren't enough restaurants offering enough meal choices, nor was there enough variety.   The options were few.  And yes, as a result, there was snacking between meals.  Eating just a small salad for lunch for example made sense for the budget, but it didn't make sense to the stomach.

I purchased 21 meals during the course of this challenge - a standard breakfast, lunch, dinner thing - eating at 14 different restaurants.  I could have broadened the variety of meals and options by eating at regional fast food chain restaurants, but my focus was on just the nationally recognized joints.

So what restaurants have the best and worst value meal menus?

Let's start with the worst.

14.  QuikTrip:  Some would argue that QuikTrip does not qualify as a Fast Food joint, but I say it does.  It's a convenience store with a kitchen, it doesn't get much more 'fast food' than that.  QuikTrip's menu is affordable, but it's also the worst food of the lot, or what they do decently, often isn't available.  Their 'Hotzi' breakfast sandwiches and burritos are dry and sit in the warming bin longer than they should.  QuikTrip says they make food to order, but that's not the case more often than not.  All meal options are available here, breakfast, lunch and dinner.   Eat here as a last resort.  If you refueled your vehicle and the stomach is growling, grab a bag of chips to tide you over until you can find a better place to feed.  

13.  Arby's:  The Roast Beef King of fast food doesn't have a value meal menu, but you can take advantage of the limited time offers.  The restaurant is always running a two sandwiches for $5 or $6 kind of deal.  There's a downside to that though.  Arby's does roast beef really well, other meats or fish......  not so much.....  Of the nationally recognized fast food chains, this restaurant is one of the more expensive ones.  Arby's serves up lunch and dinner, breakfast is only available at select locations.

12.  Popeyes:  Comparable to Kentucky Fried Chicken, Popeye's also features fried chicken but unlike KFC, has fish options on the menu as well. *  Popeye's doesn't have any kind of value meal on their board, but does currently offer a $5 Shrimp Tacklebox which comes with eight butterfly shrimp, a regular side, biscuit and cocktail sauce.  Next month, the 'box' might feature some kind of chicken instead of shrimp.  I'm not a fan of Popeye's, I'd rather have KFC.  They serve lunch and dinner.  *In March, the company discontinued its seafood menu at most locations, offering those items now only at select locations.

11.  Chick-fil-A:  They specialize in chicken, period.  That's no surprise right?  The name says all you need to know.....  It's good chicken too, but they have no value meal to speak of.   They really don't run any special offers either. You can find some inexpensive items on their lunch and dinner menus but Chick-fil-A does run on the higher end of fast food pricing.  Their breakfast menu is competitive though and you can get meals cheaper than the listed menu price by using their coupons and promo codes, downloadable online.  Chick-fil-A serves breakfast, lunch and dinner.

10.  Hardee's:  Of the burger joints, Hardee's has the worst value menu with a total of just eight options with two of those items being over $4.50.  Their 'Red Burrito' menu is competitively priced, but then again, if I'm in the mood for Mexican, I'm going to go to a taco joint.  My favorite sandwich is the classic Ham & Cheese priced at about $4.50 for just the sandwich and I recently enjoyed the Frisco Burger, but overall Hardee's is NOT a go-to place if you're looking for a value meal.  Hardee's serves breakfast, lunch and dinner.

9.  Wendy's:  Meal deals at Wendy's is a focus on '4 for $4'.  You get four items for $4, a sandwich, chicken nuggets, small fries and a drink.  It's a pretty fair deal but then again, you're limited to a sandwich, chicken nuggets, fries, and a drink.  Wendy's has other low priced items like a baked potato, a small bowl of chili and some salads, but overall, their value menu is a bit limited and there's really not much variety to it.   Wendy's doesn't serve breakfast, only lunch and dinner.

8.  Dunkin Donuts:  They don't have a value menu, but their entire menu is competitively priced and you can spend less than $5 on the breakfast menu and walk to your table with a very good morning meal.  They serve breakfast anytime too, even for lunch or dinner.  The Egg and Cheese Wake Up Wraps are pretty darn tasty and as a result of this challenge, I'll be eating at Dunkin Donuts more often!

7. KFC:  If you're in the mood for chicken, this is the place to go.  Their $5 Fill Ups Menu is pretty good, if you're in the mood for chicken and there's the Colonel's Value Menu with some budget-minded items all under $3 featuring yes, you guessed it, chicken.  Make no bones about it (pun intended), KFC specializes in chicken and they do it well.  That's the only downside really to KFC, you're limited to options of chicken.  The upside to that is they do chicken better than most everybody else.  They serve lunch and dinner.  The chain is currently experimenting with breakfast menus overseas. 

6. Sonic:  I'm not really a fan of drive-up eating, but Sonic deserves some kudos here, they have a menu with a lot of variety featuring something to please just about anyone.  If you're into hotdogs, you'll really like Sonic and the prices for sides are very reasonable as well.  Overall the prices on the entire menu are budget friendly and it's filled with options.  It's too bad Sonic is such a fair weather restaurant, because they have a menu that competes with any other fast food joint.  All meal options are available here, breakfast, lunch and dinner. 

5. Subway:  The sub sandwich shop is currently offering their $5 foot long deal on selected sandwiches at participating restaurants.  That's a great deal because that's really two meals.  Even the six inch sandwich option is reasonably priced with many choices at around $4.  I contend you feel fuller eating a six inch sub vs. a tiny cheeseburger and fries for about the same price and you can put a lot of variety between two pieces of bread at this place.  Subway serves all three meals, breakfast, lunch and dinner, but their breakfast prices run higher than most of the fast food competition.

4. Dairy Queen:  You can eat well at DQ for lunch, taking advantage of their $5 buck lunch.  This offering features your choice of Three-Piece Chicken Strips, Deluxe Cheeseburger or their A.1. Bacon Cheeseburger.  You also get crispy fries, a 21 oz drink and a sundae for dessert.  You can upgrade your sundae to a small Blizzard treat for $1 more.  The downside to that price is that it's limited to lunch, only offered from 11am - 4pm.  You can find some decent items on their combo menu (entree includes fries and a drink) for under $4.   They don't have an official value menu, but the prices are reasonable and the food is quite good.  Dairy Queen is another restaurant I'll be eating at more often as a result of this challenge.  DQ serves breakfast (did you know that?), lunch and dinner.

3. Burger King:  They have a decent variety on their value menu, burgers, chicken sandwiches, chicken nuggets, fries, onion rings, apple pie, ice cream and more.  The most expensive item on their value menu is the Bacon Double Cheeseburger, a bit over $2.  Their dessert menu is pretty decent too with all of it competitively priced.  For breakfast, I'm a sucker for their Sausage, egg & cheese Croissan'wich.  As the name implies, Burger King specializes in those - burgers - but they are to be considered an 'all-purpose' fast food joint with a nice variety of meal options.  If you're not quite sure what you're in the mood for, Burger King is a nice Plan B.  Burger King serves breakfast, lunch and dinner.

2. Taco Bell:  I ranked it #2 just for the sheer number of cheap eats they have.  I've sampled many of them, most are decent, some just fair.  They have a dozen items on their dollar 'Cravings' menu alone.   Taco Bell is always running a $5 box deal of some kind featuring their latest new product offering and they have all kinds of meal deals and combos on their board that you can customize, most all in the $5 and $6 range.  I like their Nacho Cheese Doritos Locos Tacos, but their new venture into french fries, not so much.....  Taco Bell has the most cheap eats, but you have to be in the mood for Americanized Fast Food Mexican.....  It is a taco joint after all.   Taco Bell serves breakfast, lunch and dinner.

1.  McDonald's:  I have had some unpleasant dining experiences at McDonald's over the years, but they get the top ranking on the value meal chart for two reasons.  Reason One:  Their new 1-2-3 Dollar Menu offers the most variety and the most food value.  McDonald's revamped their value meal options with the debut of the 1-2-3 Dollar Menu in January of this year and it's a good menu.  Reason Two:  After slipping sales resulting from customer complaints of slow/bad service and cold food, the restaurant seems to have gotten its act back together.  Mickey D's finally starting listening to their customers instead of taking it's top dog status for granted.   The revamped value menu includes a variety of burgers, chicken sandwiches, and a breakfast burrito.  Heck, you can get a Happy Meal for just $3!  The Bacon McDouble is the best $2 burger in town.   During the course of my Fast Food Challenge, I ate McDonald's for seven of the 21 meals consumed, the budget I set for the challenged dictated it.  If that's not an indicator of food value...... The rest of the McDonald's menu is competitively priced with perhaps the most options of any other fast food restaurant.   They're still King of the Fast Food hill.

Spend Wisely My Friends.....


Volunteers Help Bring Fun to 5th Street

Volunteers make every special event come to life at the City of Coralville and the 5th Street Social is no exception.  Volunteers are needed on August 11 at the 5th Street Social to help with beverage garden operations, kids fun zone, stage crew, and set up and tear down.   Sign up now to guarantee your tee shirt size and mark your calendar for volunteer training on Monday, August 6 from 6:00-7:00 p.m.  Learn more about volunteer opportunities at   Event details can be found at  


Collins Road Construction Update

CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa – Improvements continue to move forward on Collins Road NE. Travel lanes in both directions have recently been re-opened.

Future closures/lane reductions include:

  • Full closure starting Wednesday, July 25 at 9 PM and lasting until Thursday, July 26 at 6 AM
  • Full closure starting Thursday, July 26 at 9 PM and lasting until Friday, July 27 at 6 AM
  • Westbound traffic lane reduction on Thursday, July 26

These impacts will occur between Northland Drive and Twixt Town Road. Following these closures/reductions, travel lanes will be fully open the remainder of the construction season. Crews continue to work on utilities in the public right of way. Work this construction season will continue until this fall.

The Collins Road project is scheduled to be completed in 2019. Improvements include adding additional travel lanes, adding additional turn lanes at the Lindale Mall / Collins Crossing intersections, new sidewalk on both sides, new traffic signals with pedestrian push buttons, stormwater management, and removal of the frontage road north of Collins Road. Work taking place in 2018 consists primarily of moving or replacing underground utilities; 2019 work will consist of pavement improvements.

Chapter 5 - Poultry Recipes - Grilling Good Eats

MMM (Mustard, Milk, Marinade) Chicken

This recipe features boneless/skinless chicken thighs, which in my humble opinion are the tastiest cut of the chicken and is a bargain buy at the grocery store to boot.


  • 2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs
  • 1 cup plain yogurt (Can substitute with mayonnaise, which actually used to be a featured ingredient putting another ‘M‘ in the name, but the yogurt is better)
  • 1/2 cup whole milk
  • 4 Tbsp yellow mustard
  • 1 Tbsp Cookies Flavor Enhancer or your favorite poultry rub
  • 1 Tbsp oregano
  • 1 Tbsp red pepper flakes
  • 1 Tbsp black pepper

In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the yogurt, mustard and milk. After that is combined, whisk in the remaining dry ingredients to complete the marinade. Add the chicken thighs, using your hands to thoroughly coat them. Cover and refrigerate for up to eight hours. When ready to grill, place the thighs near the hot spot on the grill. Let those babies sizzle for about three minutes to get those great grill marks. Since this marinade is on the thicker side, it could take up to five minutes. Flip over to the lower heat side of the grill and cover for about 15 minutes. Rest the chicken for about five minutes and serve. Excellent paired with rosemary/dill potatoes and grilled asparagus.


Road closures and public parking for Iowa City RAGBRAI

Help safely welcome thousands of riders and visitors from across the country when RAGBRAI stays overnight in Iowa City on Friday, July 27, 2018. 

Cyclists will be enjoying all parts of the City and University of Iowa campus, so caution is urged when driving near the route and in the Downtown area. Plan your commute and travel accordingly. Expect delays due to street closures, and heavy cyclist and pedestrian traffic.  


Be cautious and on the lookout for bicyclists while commuting to and from work as riders make their way into Iowa City and through the Downtown area, starting early Friday morning. Riders may begin arriving as early at 8 a.m., with the majority arriving between 11 a.m. and 3 p.m. Support vehicles will begin arriving as early as 5 a.m. 

Iowa City RAGBRAI map

Ride Route

Motor vehicle drivers are asked to avoid the ride route. Some areas will be completely closed, and other portions will intermittently close throughout the day. Entering and crossing roads along the route will be difficult.

Iowa City RAGBRAI route:

  • South Sand Road/Gilbert Street
  • South Gilbert Street north to Market Street 
  • Market Street* west to Madison Street
  • Madison Street south to Iowa Avenue
  • Iowa Avenue west to Riverside Drive
  • Riverside Drive north to Park Road and the main entrance to campgrounds in City Park

*The route in and out of Iowa City is nearly identical. The only difference is that riders will enter using Market Street on Friday, and exit using Jefferson Street on Saturday. View the route map

Route Street Closures

  • Gilbert Street from Highway 6 to Burlington; expect closures with the flow of bikes  
  • Gilbert Street from Burlington to Market Street; closed
  • Gilbert Street from Jefferson to Highway 6; closed to southbound traffic on Saturday only
  • 300 block of E. Market Street between Gilbert and Linn; closed to traffic
  • Iowa Avenue westbound will be reduced to one lane between Madison and Riverside Drive, open to passenger vehicles no large trucks. 
  • Riverside Drive from Highway 6 to River Street; closed to northbound traffic

Note: several large charter groups will host thousands of cyclists in the Mercer Park area. To access the camp space, riders will travel Highland Avenue to Lower Muscatine Road to Mall Drive to First Avenue to Bradford Drive. It is advised that drivers avoid this area.   

RAGBRAI support vehicle route: 

  • Interstate 80, exit south on Dubuque Street (exit 244) to the Park Road Bridge* and across to City Park
  • Once on Dubuque Street, RAGBRAI traffic will be directed to stop at a checkpoint where they will receive further instructions on how to proceed
  • For overflow support vehicles: Take Highway 218, exit north on Old Highway 218 (exit 89), then east on McCollister Boulevard

*Park Road Bridge will only be open to vehicles registered with RAGBRAI. No pedestrians, cyclists or other vehicles will be allowed access at any time. Drivers should take note that the bridge is still under construction and proceed with caution. The bridge will close to RAGBRAI registered traffic at midnight and reopen only to them at 5 a.m. on Saturday, before closing again at noon. 

Map of Friday closures

Accessing Downtown

Downtown Iowa City will host the Book it to Iowa City Bash with headline artists The Jayhawks and Blitzen Trapper. Guests will be allowed to visit local bars and restaurants and openly enjoy food, beverages and special programming within the event’s designated area. 

Street Closures  

Set up will begin at 6 a.m. on Thursday with closures on Iowa Avenue between Clinton and Dubuque streets, as well as Clinton between Jefferson and Washington streets.  

All other closures will begin at 3 a.m. Friday morning: 

  • Clinton Street from Bloomington to Burlington streets; closed
  • Dubuque Street from Jefferson to Washington streets; closed
  • Linn Street from Iowa Avenue to College Street; closed
  • Iowa Avenue from Gilbert to Clinton streets; closed 
  • Washington Street from Gilbert to Clinton streets; closed
  • 300 block of E. College street only accessible from Linn Street 


Visitors coming Downtown Friday are encouraged to park in the following ramps: 

  • Capitol Street, 220 S. Capitol St. 
  • Dubuque Street, 220 S. Dubuque St. 
  • Harrison Street, 175 E. Harrison St. 
  • Court Street, 150 E. Court St. 

The first hour is free in ramps on Capitol and Dubuque streets. The PassportParking app can be downloaded and used for mobile payment at all City meters and some parking garages. To learn more, visit  

Visitors should avoid using the Tower Place Ramp, 335 Iowa Ave., due to street closures and volunteer parking, as well as the Chauncey Swan Ramp, 415 E. Washington St., due to the Rummage in the Ramp event, and the Farmers Market that opens at 7 a.m. on Saturday. 


Iowa City buses will offer free rides all day on Friday, July 27. The Downtown Interchange will temporarily relocate to the Court Street Transportation Center, 150 E. Court St., starting Thursday, July 27. Normal service will resume Monday, July 30. More info at   

Safety Tips for Motorists

  • Give bicyclists room. Do not pass closely. Allow at least 3 feet or move into an adjacent lane.
  • Be patient. Wait to pass bicyclists until you are able to do so safely.
  • Reduce speed when passing. Even if there is a bike lane, an opening car door or crack in the road may cause a bicyclist to swerve unexpectedly.
  • Check blind spots. Make sure to check your blind spots before making turns and before opening car doors if parked on the street.

Stay Connected

For the latest updates, RSVP to the Book It to Iowa City Bash Facebook event, and follow Iowa City RAGBRAI on FacebookTwitter and Instagram. To learn more, visit

Special thanks to our event sponsors Hills Bank, Promote Iowa City Area, INC, Mercy Iowa City, MediRevv, Iowa City Area Assosciation of Realtors, The Graduate Hotel, MC Ginsberg, UIHC Men’s Health, MidWestOne Bank, University of Iowa Community Credit Union, West Bank, University of Iowa Health Care, and Big Grove Brewery and Taproom.

City announces new Senior Center Coordinator

The Iowa City/Johnson County Senior Center (The Center), has hired LaTasha DeLoach to serve as its new coordinator.

DeLoach has worked for Johnson County Social Services for the past 10 years, most recently serving as Community Projects Specialist.She replaces Linda Kopping, who retired in April after serving for over 23 years as The Center’s Coordinator.

“I am extremely pleased to announce that LaTasha DeLoach will be joining the City’s management team as the next Senior Center Coordinator. She is a respected leader in Johnson County who excels at leveraging community connections in a way that maximizes positive impact,” City Manager Geoff Fruin said. “I look forward to seeing LaTasha lead The Center and expand the reach of its already strong programming and offerings in a way that ensures all older adults have access to the resources they need to become engaged, healthy and active members of the Iowa City community.”

DeLoach received her Bachelors, then Masters of Social Work degree from the University of Iowa. She has received multiple honors and awards throughout her career, most recently receiving the Human Rights Youth Ally Award. In 2017, she was among the Corridor Business Journal’s Women of Influence honorees. Her involvement in local committees and programs, as well as serving as a presenter and guest lecturer at many events, exemplify her dedication to her work.

DeLoach’s responsibilities will include coordination and administration of programming for older adults, as well as promotion of The Center. She will work with community-based groups, committees and boards that focus on aging-related issues, and will continue to support intergenerational programs and broaden community involvement.

“I am excited and honored to bring my experience as a community collaborator and organizational leader to the City of Iowa City as the Senior Center Coordinator. The Center is well known for its excellent services and programming geared to residents ages 50 and beyond. I am looking forward to continuing The Center’s legacy and building a shared community-informed vision for our future,” DeLoach stated. 

LaTasha DeLoach, new Senior Center Coordinator  

LaTasha DeLoach, new Senior Center Coordinator, will officially begin her new role with the City on July 31, 2018.

Today's Weather Outlook for the Corridor

Today's weather forecast and a four day outlook.  Check this page for the latest weather reports in the corridor area.  Up-to-date weather conditions for the Iowa City area are observed at the Iowa City, Iowa City Municipal Airport, IA.  For weather conditions specific to other cities outside the corridor area, just type in your zip code below.

Coralville, Iowa, weather forecast

Type in your zip code for your weatherecast