This is Stephen Schmidt from the Gazette digital news desk and I’m here with your update for Tuesday February 25th.
Tuesday’s weather is looking to be a mild mix of just about everything you’d expect from a late February day. According to the National Weather Service, the Cedar Rapids area will see a chance of snow after 7 a.m., with that snow mixing with rain after 11:00 a.m. It should be cloudy, with a high of 35 degrees and a northeast wind of 10 to 15 mph. The chance of precipitation should be around 40 percent. Then, as the temperature drops again, there should be a chance of more snow Tuesday night. Accumulation is not expected to be significant.
A jury of seven women and five men in Scott County needed less than three hours to convict Jerry Burns of Manchester of the murder of Michelle Martinko outside Westdale Mall in 1979. The prosecution and defense made their closing arguments on Monday morning before the jury’s decision, with many of the points of contention being around how DNA from Burns-- matched to him by Cedar Rapids investigators through a genealogical database-- would have been found at the scene of the crime. Martinko was a teenager at the time of her death, and according to forensic testimony she had been stabbed 29 times. She had gone to the mall that night to pick up a coat her mother had put on layaway, and was found dead in the family’s Buick.
Family members of Martinko said after the verdict that they felt vindicated after many, many years, but several pointed out that they did not want to view it as a celebration, as the Burns family was suffering as well.
Justices of the Iowa Supreme Court on Monday selected Justice Susan Christensen of Harlan to serve as their chief. Christensen, 57, will succeed former Chief Justice Mark Cady, who died Nov. 15 of last year. She becomes the second woman to serve as chief justice of Iowa’s highest court.
Multiple Gordmans locations, including in the Corridor, are slated to close soon.
The Gordmans locations at 4601 First Ave. SE in Cedar Rapids and 2515 Corridor Way in Coralville both will close in the near future, a company spokesperson told the Gazette Monday. A sign at the Gordmans store in Cedar Rapids on Saturday confirmed the closure.
Other Iowa stores, including two in Des Moines and one in Sioux City, also will shut their doors. The closures come in the wake of the sale of Gordmon’s after it filed for bankruptcy in 2017. It was purchased by Houston-based Stage Stores, which is now heading toward bankruptcy itself.
Sixteen Class 5A and 4A teams will punch their tickets to the girls' state basketball tournament tonight. Among the notable games, No. 2 ranked Iowa City High hosts Dubuque Hempstead in 5A and No. 2 Marion takes on No. 15 Clear Creek Amana in 4A. Follow @iowaprepsports on Twitter or check thegazette.com for statewide scores and live updates.