Gazette Daily News Podcast, March 24

Claire Emery-Wootton wears gloves as she fills a grocery order at New Pioneer Co-Op in Coralville on Friday, March 20, 2
Claire Emery-Wootton wears gloves as she fills a grocery order at New Pioneer Co-Op in Coralville on Friday, March 20, 2020. (Rebecca F. Miller/The Gazette)

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It’s not going to be balmy Tuesday, but it’s also not going to snow-- so that’s progress. According to the National Weather Service it should be mostly cloudy in the Cedar Rapids area with a high of 49 degrees.

Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds held her daily coronavirus press conference Monday. Iowa’s current total for positive coronavirus cases stood at 105 Monday, more than double the Friday total. Reynolds said this big jump was the largely result of expanded testing in the state.

Reynolds and Debi Durham, director of the state’s Economic Development Authority, announced that the state would be floating $4 million to businesses as a stopgap relief measure while awaiting more substantial federal relief. This funding will be doled out in the form of grants, especially targeting customer facing industries such as retail that can show a direct disruption from the social distancing methods being put in place to control the spread of the COVID--19 virus.

On Sunday Reynolds ordered additional businesses to close, with stopping the spread of the virus in mind. These closures included salons, medical spas, barbershops, tattoo parlors, tanning facilities, massage therapy establishments and swimming pools.

Speaking of national assistance, a large stimulus package aimed at staunching the bleeding in the American economy failed to pass in the Senate again Monday after failing a vote on Sunday as well. Broadly speaking, both Republicans and Democrats agree that between one to two trillion dollars should be injected into the economy, but they differ in where this money should be spent and how much oversight congress should have over it. On Monday night both sides showed signs of nearing a deal.

The stock market fell again Monday, but with the Federal Reserve making more promises to do its part to stimulate the economy, and the deal rumored to be near, indications were that the market would rise on Tuesday.

Finally, longtime Eastern Iowa newsman Dean Borg, whose career took him from Iowa to Southeast Asia and Europe, and included interviews with every president from John F. Kennedy to Barack Obama, has died. He was 81 years old.

Borg, a longtime Iowa Public Radio political correspondent and former host of Iowa PBS’ “Iowa Press,” died Sunday of complications caused by pancreatic cancer. Borg, a Forest City native, whose professional career started at WMT in Cedar Rapids, was known by media colleagues for his civility as much as his tenacity.