Wednesday Morning Read: Iowa Senators undergo sexual harassment training, 2018 Super Bowl QBs played the Hawkeyes, and a snowplow solution

A white light blinks on a snowplow truck at the Iowa DOT District 6 maintenance garage in Cedar Rapids on Tuesday, Oct. 24, 2017. (Stephen Mally/The Gazette)
A white light blinks on a snowplow truck at the Iowa DOT District 6 maintenance garage in Cedar Rapids on Tuesday, Oct. 24, 2017. (Stephen Mally/The Gazette)

Iowa senators take sexual harassment training:
Iowa senators spent a portion of Tuesday afternoon undergoing harassment training offered by a private consultant. The session, which also will be offered today, follows a set of recommendations from former Senate President Mary Kramer designed to help create a “culture reform” in the Statehouse. The training comes in the wake of a $1.75 million judgment paid last year to settle a lawsuit brought by a former Senate Republican staffer who asserted she was fired after complaining of sexual harassment on the job.

News on the Cedar Rapids Schools facilities plan:
50-year-old Coolidge Elementary, in Southwest Cedar Rapids, is the most expensive building in the district to maintain. That’s pushed it to the top of the list in the Cedar Rapids Community School District’s plan to close eight elementary schools and build 10 new ones, which was unanimously approved by the School Board Monday evening. Coolidge Principal Greg O’Connell called it “kind of exciting and kind of scary.” Meanwhile, The Cedar Rapids City Council wants to create a task force that would study each affected school site for possible future uses.

Super Bowl QBs beat Iowa:
A fun bit of trivia from Mike Hlas: Both of the quarterbacks playing in the 2018 Super Bowl once played — and beat — the Hawkeyes. Tom Brady of the New England Patriots was with Michigan, nearly 20 years ago when they beat the Hawkeyes during Hayden Fry’s final year as head coach. And Nick Foles of the Philadelphia Eagles was an Arizona Wildcat when he scraped out a victory against Iowa in the final minutes of a 2010 game.

Historic building changes hands:
The former Cedar Rapids Central Fire Station has been sold to GLD Commercial Real Estate and will be renovated. The building was also the Cedar Rapids Science Station, and has been empty since the 2008 floods. The 118-year-old building may be one of the last along First St. SE to be renovated post-flood.

Fewer motorists crashing into snowplows:
Here’s a story where a small change made a big difference: In the 2014-15 snowplowing season, an Iowa DOT snow removal vehicle was struck every 2,801 hours of operation on average, according to the DOT. After blue and white lights replaced amber lights on part of the snowplow fleet in 2015, that number decreased to a crash every 8,813 hours of operation on average. The DOT estimates it would cost about $335,000 to equip the rest of the snowplow fleet with the blue and white lights.



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