The Gazette Daily News Podcast, January 28

A shopper walks out of a former location of Shopko, 3111 16th Ave. SW in Cedar Rapids on Wednesday, Feb. 7, 2001.
A shopper walks out of a former location of Shopko, 3111 16th Ave. SW in Cedar Rapids on Wednesday, Feb. 7, 2001.

Today is Tuesday, Jan. 28, 2020. Here's your Gazette Daily News Podcast, a briefing on today's news:

18-year-old killed over the weekend was a Metro High School student

The 18-year-old man shot and killed Friday night in northeast Cedar Rapids was Metro High School student Andrew Dontae Gaston. The school shared the news with students on Monday and in a post on its Facebook page.

Gaston and a 16-year-old, whose name has not been released, were shot just before midnight Friday in the 3200 block of Agin Court NE, an area of apartments just south of Blairs Ferry Road. Gaston died early Saturday at UnityPoint-St. Luke’s Hospital. The 16-year-old’s wound was not life-threatening.

No arrest have been made, and Cedar Rapids police say the shooting was targeted.

Friends and family planned a candlelight vigil for Gaston on Monday night.

Hy-Vee’s buying former Shopkos:

At least six former Shopko locations across Iowa in the near future will reopen as Hy-Vee Dollar Fresh stores.

Hy-Vee on Monday announced it is buying Shopko buildings in Cresco, Dyersville, Hampton, Oelwein, Vinton and Waukon. Over the coming weeks, workers will begin renovating several locations, aiming to reopen them by late summer.
Hy-Vee’s Dollar Fresh stores focus on affordable food offerings in smaller communities, the West Des Moines-based grocery chain said.

Judge sides with University of Iowa accused of mishandling sex assault reports

The University of Iowa on Monday was supposed to defend itself at trial against allegations that it violated a student’s rights in its response to her sexual assault reports and then retaliated against her, but a judge preemptively ruled in its favor – nixing the need for a jury to weigh in.

In a 2017 lawsuit, 31-year-old Samantha Lange, 31 reported that a fellow student in the UI Department of Political Science sexually assaulted her in 2012 and 2013. When she reported the incidents to UI officials, Lange asserted they failed to provide reasonable accommodations, and discriminated and retaliated against her.  

But a judge on Jan. 17 granted the university’s request for summary judgement, finding that Lange did not show the university was “deliberately indifferent” to her suffering and retaliated against her for her complaint.

The Gazette generally does not name victims of sexual assault, but Lange identified herself in the lawsuit. Lange was one of two UI graduate students to file lawsuits in October 2017 accusing the university of mishandling their allegations of sexual assault and harassment.

Cedar Rapids delays plan for climate action

Cedar Rapids officials have delayed a commitment to reduce the community’s carbon footprint.

Environmental advocates have been meeting with city leaders to develop the framework of a climate action plan, but pumped the breaks when it fell short on some fronts.
A resolution to adopt a climate action plan was pulled from the Cedar Rapids City Council’s Tuesday agenda along with a presentation about a municipal sustainability plan called iGreenCR. City officials and advocates working most closely on the matter say the delay was to get the wording right and strengthen the plan.

Today's Gazette Daily News is produced by Stephen Schmidt. Be sure to subscribe to The Gazette Daily news podcast or just tell your Amazon Alexa to “enable The Gazette Daily News skill" so you can get your daily briefing by simply saying “Alexa, what’s the news?"