The Gazette Daily Podcast, February 19th

This is Stephen Schmidt from the Gazette digital news desk and I’m here with your update for Wednesday, February 19th.

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This week’s weather looks to be following a similar pattern to the week that came before it. The next few days should be quite cold, but this will give way to a much warmer weekend. According to the National Weather Service, Cedar Rapids on Wednesday should see a high of 19 degrees with mostly cloudy skies and winds between 5 and 10 mph. Windchill will be close to 0, dropping to as low 10 degrees below zero by Wednesday night.

Cedar Rapids police are investigating after a fight broke out Friday at Cedar Rapids Washington High School.

Public safety spokesperson Greg Buelow said the altercation broke out inside the school and involved approximately “10 to 20 subjects” who were believed to be a mix of Washington students and individuals who do not attend the school.

A notice sent from the school district to the families of Washington students states the fight erupted just as second lunch was ending and involved six Washington students. No serious injuries were reported, Buelow said.

The Bernie Sanders presidential campaign plans to ask for a partial recount of the Iowa caucus results, after the state Democratic Party released results of its recanvass late Tuesday that show Sanders and former South Bend mayor Pete Buttigieg in an effective tie.

Sanders campaign senior adviser Jeff Weaver told the Associated Press in an interview Tuesday that the campaign has had a representative in contact with the Iowa Democratic Party throughout the recanvass process that requested by both the Sanders and Buttigieg campaigns.

Health fund costs are among the primary reasons the Cedar Rapids city budget is expected to exceed Iowa’s new 2 percent soft cap intended to temper growth in local property taxes from year to year.


The Cedar Rapids levy is proposed to increase by 2.82 percent, which triggers a number of actions under the new state property tax law. The nine member City Council must approve exceeding the cap by a supermajority or two-thirds vote, state reasons for “significant increases,” notify the public, and hold a public hearing in which residents and other taxpayers may present arguments for or against the levy.

The city of Marion is taking applications to fill a City Council seat made vacant this month by the death of City Council member Paul Draper.

The council unanimously agreed during a work session Tuesday to fill the seat by appointment. The seat must be filled within 60 days of vacancy. Draper died earlier this month, three months after being re-elected to his third term on the council. He was 85.