Around the Big Ten

Around the Big Ten

News from the home cities and states of the Big Ten universities:

IOWA: Successful petition drive for vote on bar law

IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) – Iowa City Clerk Marian Karr says a petition drive has collected enough signatures to put the city's 21-and-older bar law to a vote.

The petition seeks to repeal a law that bans people younger than 21 from bars after 10 p.m. The law took effect June 1. Previously, people 19 and older were allowed in bars.

Last month, petition organizers turned in about 3,300 signatures. Karr says Y.E.S.S. (Yes to Entertaining Students Safely), led by Raj Patel, a University of Iowa student from Burlington, fell 1,200 short of the 2,500 valid signatures.

The group had 15 days to get enough signatures. Karr said Thursday she certified the petition with 2,961 valid signatures.

The City Council will decide whether to repeal the law, or put it on the Nov. 2 general election ballot.

IOWA: University police start new downtown beat

IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) – University of Iowa police have started patrolling in downtown Iowa City.

The downtown beat started June 1 and runs Wednesday through Saturday nights. The university has hired new officers for the beat. Before, university police officers would volunteer to work overtime for the shifts.

Chuck Green is the University of Iowa's public safety director. Green says at least two university police officers will be in Iowa City's downtown district during the shifts. There could be more officers if they're needed and they will largely work the beat on foot and bicycle.

PURDUE: Fire may be key to reviving dogwoods

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. (AP) – A Purdue University scientist studying the decline of flowering dogwood trees says fire could be the key to reviving the trees that bring a vivid sign of spring to Eastern forests.

Purdue assistant professor of forestry Michael Jenkins studied forests in Tennessee and North Carolina. He found that dogwoods survived a deadly tree fungus in forests hit by two fires over a 20-year period.

But dogwoods were dying and being replaced by hemlock trees in areas that haven't experienced burns. Jenkins says fires remove the cool, moist conditions that the fungus need to thrive by opening up forests to sunlight and air movement.

He plans to next study new burn sites to see how dogwoods and the fungus respond to fire.

WISCONSIN: Madison mayor says anti-business reputation hurts

MADISON, Wis. (AP) – Madison Mayor Dave Cieslewicz (chess-LEV-ich) wants to speed up the process for reviewing development projects after a $98 million hotel plan got bogged down for months.

In a recent speech, the mayor says the process for approving the Edgewater Hotel renovation was too long and difficult. He says the city's reputation as anti-business scares away other investors.

The mayor says he has asked business and labor leaders to recommend changes to the review process. He says he plans to take executive action to implement changes and ask the city council to approve others.

He says he doesn't want the city to lower standards but to be "businesslike in its approach, predictable in its outcomes and expeditious in its decision-making."

INDIANA: Small brewery making expansion moves

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. (AP) – A small brewery in southern Indiana plans to start selling its beer around the state as a new facility will boost its production capacity by 1,000 percent.

The Bloomington Brewing Co. has been selling its beer for 14 years at one restaurant: Lennie's, in Bloomington. Work started recently on a new $700,000 production facility in a former warehouse that is expected to be completed in about three months.

Its existing 700-square-foot brewery has been running at full capacity for almost five years, co-founder Jeff Mease said.

"It is undoubtedly the smallest brewery in the state in terms of square feet," he said.

The company has a deal to start selling its beer at three Indianapolis-area bars and will look for others. It could also start selling in some grocery stores next year.

Selling beer only at Lennie's allowed Bloomington Brewing to ease into the craft beer industry, Mease said.

The company is getting more ambitious as it's become familiar with the industry and the craft beer market.

"There is not so much brand loyalty as there are people seeking new and interesting flavors," Mease said.

The company won't immediately go to full production at its new 2,800-square-foot brewery.

"We will be looking to grow quite a bit once we have the capacity," Mease said.

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