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Secretary Pate Statement on Iowa Supreme Court Decision

Below is Iowa Secretary of State Paul Pate’s statement regarding the verdict in the Iowa Supreme Court case, Griffin vs. Pate:

“I applaud the Iowa Supreme Court in their analysis that felonies are infamous crimes, and therefore, felons lose their voting privileges as outlined in the Iowa Constitution. This ruling goes in line with 150 years of precedence and has been reaffirmed by the people of Iowa and their elected representatives on multiple occasions.

“I took an oath to uphold the Iowa Constitution and the laws of our state. That is what I will continue to do and that is what the Iowa Supreme Court did in this case. I agree with Chief Justice Cady, who wrote that the term “infamous crime” was generally recognized to include felonies at the time our Constitution was adopted, and that meaning has not sufficiently changed or evolved to give rise to a different meaning today. My office will continue to work to preserve the integrity and fairness of Iowa elections and strive to help and encourage every eligible Iowan to participate in the electoral process.” – Paul Pate, Iowa Secretary of State

Iowa and Nebraska Senators Introduce Sarah’s Law

Legislation to honor Sarah Root

WASHINGTON, D.C. –  U.S. Senator Joni Ernst (R-IA), along with Senators Chuck Grassley (R-IA), Deb Fischer (R-NE), and Ben Sasse (R-NE), introduced Sarah’s Law, legislation to honor Sarah Root, an Iowan who was killed earlier this year by a drunk driver in the country illegally. Sarah’s Law would require U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) to take custody of an individual who is in the country illegally and is charged with a crime resulting in the death or serious bodily injury of another person.

On the night of her graduation, Sarah Root, a twenty-one year-old Iowan from Council Bluffs, was struck and killed in Omaha by Edwin Mejia, who entered the country illegally and was driving drunk – three times over the legal limit – and drag racing.

Following state criminal charges of motor vehicle homicide and outreach by local law enforcement, ICE declined to use its discretion to issue a detainer requesting that local authorities hold the individual until it could take custody. Mejia subsequently posted bond and has since disappeared. Nearly five months later, Mejia still remains at-large.

Sarah’s Law  would amend the mandatory detention provisions of the Immigration and Nationality Act to require the federal government to take custody of anyone who entered the country illegally, violated the terms of their immigration status, or had their visa revoked and is thereafter charged with a crime resulting in the death or serious bodily injury of another person. The legislation also requires ICE to make reasonable efforts to identify and provide relevant information to the crime victims or their families.

“As a mother and a grandmother, I cannot fathom the anguish Sarah’s family is feeling knowing Edwin Mejia was released and remains at-large,” said Senator Ernst. “It is an outrage that our immigration system has become so convoluted that someone who came here illegally or overstayed their visa and is responsible for the death of an American citizen, is not considered an enforcement priority and is not detained. While nothing can relieve the Root family of their pain, we must honor Sarah and ensure that this injustice never happens again. Under this law, Mejia would have been detained by ICE and held accountable for his actions. Sarah’s Law brings us one step closer toward restoring justice.”

“Sarah Root was a bright, talented, energetic young woman whose life was taken far too early. The devastation felt by her family and friends is unimaginable. Her opportunity to make a mark on the world was cut short in part because of the reckless enforcement priorities of the Obama administration. By refusing to take custody of illegal criminal immigrants who pose a clear threat to safety, this administration is putting Iowans at risk,” said Senator Grassley. “Criminals must be taken off the streets. It’s time for this administration to rethink its policies and start enforcing the law.”

“Sarah Root and her family deserve justice for her tragic and untimely death,” said Senator Fischer. “Unfortunately, they may never see it because of ICE’s flawed policies. Edwin Mejia is an illegal immigrant who had previously been cited for multiple driving offenses. He should be in custody following the tragic crash that killed Sarah Root, but ICE failed to detain him and he escaped. This bill will mandate circumstances when ICE must detain illegal immigrants charged with serious crimes. It’s my hope that through this legislation we can help strengthen our laws and limit the chances of these tragedies from happening in the future.”

“Since February, my office has held the administration’s feet to the fire to get answers for the Root family and the public,” said Senator Sasse. "While the Administration still refuses to answer basic questions about why ICE let Ms. Root’s killer go free, Congress can make it absolutely clear that federal law requires ICE to immediately detain any illegal alien who kills or seriously injures someone. As I’ve said before: Mr. Mejia shouldn’t be on ICE’s Most Wanted List, he should be behind bars.”

“Our family would like to express our sincere gratitude to Senator Grassley, Senator Ernst, Senator Sasse, and Senator Fischer as well as their supporting staff for all of their efforts in introducing Sarah’s Law,” said the Root Family. “This law will not change the devastating outcome that our family and Sarah have endured, but it will help the next family avoid the pain of knowing that the person responsible for their loved one’s death remains at large. Requiring the mandatory detention of an illegal immigrant who commits motor vehicle homicide or causes serious bodily injury is necessary due to their increased flight risk. In addition, Sarah’s law will require ICE to provide victims’ families information about the custody status of the person who committed a crime against their loved one. Our family is thankful for all of the support from our community throughout this tragedy. Sarah’s Law will not only bring justice for Sarah, but to every American that is put in this unimaginable situation that our family has encountered.”

Click here to read the text of the bill.

Joint-Efforts by the Iowa and Nebraska Senators to Obtain Justice for Sarah Root:

·         On March 25, 2016 the Iowa and Nebraska Senators demanded answers from ICE Assistant Secretary Sarah Saldana on why the agency did not detain Edwin Mejia after he killed Sarah Root in a drunk driving incident.

·         On April 27, 2016 the Iowa and Nebraska Senators sent a letter to the Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Sylvia Burwell demanding to know who was monitoring Edwin Mejia as he entered the country illegally as an unaccompanied minor.


Thursday Nights in the IRL: Movies, Music and More!

Looking for some fun ways to kick off your summer weekends? Join us Thursday nights in the Iowa River Landing for Movies, Music and More! The River Landing will feature several fun events on Thursday nights through August 18th including music with Kevin BF Burt, movies at Backpocket Brewing, horse-drawn carriage rides, and more!


State of Iowa Funds Iowa Arena

The State of Iowa announced they will provide funding for the Iowa Arena project in the Iowa River Landing. These dollars are a crucial step forward for the project, allowing planners to move closer to the goal of beginning construction in June of 2017. The arena and athletic training center will have the flexibility to host a multitude of events and tournaments in addition to concerts, family shows, and special events. Stay tuned for more updates on this exciting new addition to the Iowa River Landing!


Party in the Park: June 30 at Creekside Park

Join in the neighborhood fun with the Cedar Creek Cobras at the next Party in the Park, scheduled Thursday, June 30, 2016 at Creekside Park, 1858 7th Avenue Court in Iowa City.  Bring your lawn chairs or blankets, and from 6:30 to 8 p.m., enjoy live music as well as games, arts and crafts projects, and frozen treats. This is a no-fee event and is open to the public.

Party in the Park is sponsored by the City of Iowa City’s Parks and Recreation Department and the Neighborhood Outreach Division. A party will be scheduled in a different Iowa City park each week through August 6, giving residents a chance to enjoy their summer evenings outdoors with friends and family while exploring the City’s many beautiful natural spaces and neighborhoods.

For more information, contact Joyce Carroll, Parks and Recreation Department Arts Supervisor, at or 319-356-5100, or Marcia Bollinger, Neighborhood Outreach Planner, at or 319-356-5237.

Animal Center volunteers receive Governor's Award

Animal Center Governor's AwardGeorge and Calista Hospodarsky of Iowa City received a Governor’s Volunteer Award for their volunteer efforts at the Iowa City Animal Care and Adoption Center from Iowa Governor Terry E. Branstad during a special recognition ceremony held June 28, 2016 in Cedar Rapids.

 “I am pleased to honor those who have given the precious gift of their time to meet essential needs across Iowa,” the Governor stated. “The commitment of these volunteers — and all volunteers — helps Iowa consistently remain in the top 10 states in the nation for its volunteerism rate.”

Calista was honored for volunteering hundreds of hours each year at the Animal Center for the past 10 years, working behind the scenes to help with medical needs of cats and kittens as they enter the shelter. In addition, she has been a foster parent to over 400 animals, caring for them in her home until they are ready for adoption.

George was also honored for volunteering hundreds of hours at the shelter, emceeing events, and compiling data for reporting. He, too, has been a volunteer for over 10 years, and also helps take care of all the foster animals that Calista brings home.

“Volunteers are vital to our organization’s mission and play a huge part in helping us save lives and helping make the community a better place for animals and people,” said Liz Ford, Animal Center Supervisor. “George and Calista are two very dedicated people who go above and beyond for us and for the homeless animals they help. It’s wonderful to be able to recognize them for their generous contributions.”

For more information, contact Liz Ford at 319-356-5296 or

Renee's Ceramic Cafe

ReneesCeramicCafeWe carry two types of pottery for two types of fun!

Type 1 - Pottery you can paint and take home today! These adorable pieces are decorative magnets, plaques, banks and figurines. After these items are painted our staff will add glaze and sparkling glitter if you choose. These pieces usually dry in under 5 minutes.

Type 2 - Pottery you paint and leave at our studio for a week to be fired. Once the items are fired they are food safe and outdoor safe for yard display pieces.


Canvas Corner

Select an easel
Select a canvas size
Select a design
Ask one of our Creative Consultants to assist with your paint and embellishment choices.
"Release Your Inner Artist!"
Prices begin at 7.99

No Appointment Necessary
Tues - Fri. 10 am - 6 pm
Sat. 10 am - 5 pm
Sunday Noon - 4 pm
Monday - Closed

ReneesJust Announced!

Registration has begun.
Click here for more info.

There are never any studio fees at our studio. The price on the piece includes everything except sales tax. So you can choose a price limit that works best for you.

Contact Info:
4172 Alyssa Ct SW Suite B, Iowa City, IA 52240

via Renee's Ceramic Cafe

Blue Sky Carpet Care

Residential and Commercial Carpet, Tile, Upholstery, Hardwood and Laminate Cleaning

Blue Sky Carpet CleaningThe Corridors Professional Choice

Blue Sky Carpet Care is a professional carpet cleaning, upholstery cleaning and floor care company servicing the North Liberty, Coralville, Iowa City, and Cedar Rapids Iowa areas. Blue Sky Carpet Care uses only premium cleaning solutions and the best carpet cleaning equipment currently used in our industry.

Call today to schedule a FREE Estimate!

Blue Sky Carpet Care
3522 Dolphin Dr. SE, Unit D
Iowa City, IA 52240
Phone 319.248.5302