Gazette News Podcast

The Gazette Daily News Podcast, February 11th

Bernie (and Pete) aren't done with us, yet.
Bernie (and Pete) aren't done with us, yet.

This is Stephen Schmidt from the Gazette digital news desk and I’m here with your daily update for February 11th, 2020.

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Here are two words to describe Tuesday’s weather: cold and boring. But considering the alternatives, boring isn’t that bad.  According to the National Weather Service, the Cedar Rapids area should see mostly sunny skies Tuesday with a high near 28 degrees and northwest wind around 10 mph. 

Jury selection will continue Tuesday for a Manchester man accused of killing 18-year-old Michelle Martinko in 1979. The defense will start its questioning Tuesday morning. The prosecution finished up Monday. Opening statements could begin in the afternoon. Jerry Burns, charged with first-degree murder, is accused of fatally stabbing the Kennedy High School senior on Dec. 19, 1979. Police found her body in her parents’ Buick, which was parked in a lot behind the J.C. Penney at Westdale Mall in Cedar Rapids.

Even as voting is set to get going on Tuesday in the New Hampshire primary, at least two campaigns haven’t had their fill of Iowa, yet. A week into the continuing mess that is the Iowa Democratic caucuses, the presidential campaigns of Bernie Sanders and Pete Buttigieg on Monday formally requested re-cavasses of dozens of precincts and satellite caucuses, virtually ensuring that what could have been the first-in-the-nation assessment of White House hopefuls is at least the second.

Although the Iowa Democratic Party last week released what it called complete results — showing Buttigieg with a tiny advantage over Sanders — the party spent part of the weekend revisiting potential errors. Many news organizations have refused to declare a winner.

A water main break has caused $1 million in damage to Waypoint Services, a downtown social services provider offering child care and programming for children, a lifeline to those without homes and support for those facing domestic abuse. A pipe burst last Thursday in the lower level where school-aged programming occurs, flooding the space and causing major damage. The building at 318 Fifth St. SE was evacuated of about 60 staff members, children and other clients.

Staff are investigating what caused the pipe to burst. The maintenance woes surfaced as the organization was preparing to announce the final $100,000 push to complete a $3.3 million capital campaign to update the KidsPoint Downtown Learning Center & Preschool, enhance security and complete minor building upgrades. That work is scheduled to begin in April. The break has placed even more emphasis on the center’s need for community support.

Eldon, Iowa is home of the inspiration behind American Gothic, one of the nation’s most iconic paintings. Unfortunately, like many small Iowa towns, it also is home to a downtown in decline and a small population. That’s why the town has entered itself into  HGTV’s “Home Town Takeover” contest in which the network chooses one American town for a “whole-town renovation and restoration project.” Good luck to them. 

That’s it for your update. As always, you can get more news and sports on 

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