The Gazette Daily News Podcast, the Weekend of March 21st

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The weather should be cool but calm Saturday, according to the National Weather Service, with a high near 41 degrees and partly sunny skies in the Cedar Rapids area. Sunday will see increasing cloudiness through the morning, with a 50 percent chance of rain after 1 p.m. and a high of 43 degrees.

Gov. Kim Reynolds held her coronavirus press conference Friday. In the good news department, the total number of positive cases of the COVID-19 strain of the coronavirus increased only by one to a total of 45. In the bad news, that should go up as testing ramps up. Also up are claims for unemployment caused by the way the virus has disrupted daily life in Iowa, with businesses like restaurants closing at least partially to discourage the spread of the disease. Iowa Workforce Development Director Beth Townsend said the amount of claims her office is receiving per day is roughly equal to what they usually get in a busy month.

On Friday Reynolds also:

  • Suspended the collection of penalties and interest as it relates to property taxes.
  • Suspended some evictions in certain circumstances.
  • Permitted the sale of carryout, delivery or drive-through alcohol in sealed containers for bars and restaurants.

That’s right, you can now buy delivery booze with your delivery food. So that is something.

In a national roundup of coronavirus news, the Trump administration has decided to push back the tax filing deadline from April 15 to July 15. Illinois and New York state joined California in ordering all residents to stay in their homes unless they have vital reasons to go out, restricting the movement of more than 70 million Americans. The stock market dropped again. And the United States and Mexico limited travel over the border to only essential travel, as the US has done with Canada on the northern border.

Leaving all that behind us for the moment, Cedar Rapids police are investigating what they now have declared to be a homicide after a man was found in a battered vehicle in a wooded area north of Interstate 380. The man, identified at 27-year-old Jordan Haynes, was found on March 12th. Police did not reveal the cause of death in their Friday announcement, as the investigation is ongoing.

Finally, Luka Garza award watch. The Iowa star center was named to the Associated Press First-Team All America squad, the first Hawkeye to receive this distinction since Chuck Darling in 1952.