Gazette Daily News Podcast, May 27

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Wednesday’s weather in the Cedar Rapids area is predicted to follow a similar pattern to the past few days. The National Weather Service is predicting a mostly cloudy day with heavy humidity, a high of 80 degrees, and a chance for rain after 1:00 p.m., increasing in probability as evening approaches. Although most rain should be light, there could be a chance for thunderstorms Wednesday night. The weather for Thursday is currently also predicted to be rainy, before settling down into cooler and calmer skies for the weekend.

Declaring that Iowa is “on the road to recovery” from the coronavirus pandemic, Gov. Kim Reynolds announced the lifting of additional restrictions at her daily press conference Tuesday. Effective Monday, she is permitting casinos and gaming facilities to reopen, as well as amusement parks, outdoor performance venues, bowling alleys, pool halls and arcades — but all at half capacity and according to social distancing, hygiene and public health guidelines.

In addition, social and community gatherings of more than 10 people will be permitted again beginning June 1 with 6 feet of social distancing and venues limited to 50 percent capacity.

Reynolds also said that the state is lifting the moratorium on foreclosures and evictions, although she said the state is formulating an assistance program based on income.

Iowa’s death toll from the disease grew to 477 late Tuesday. As of Tuesday morning, 377 Iowans were still hospitalized with COVID-19 — 118 in intensive care and 66 requiring ventilators to help breathe.

If you receive, or have received, a Visa debit card in the mail saying you have $1,200 in federal stimulus available in exchange for your social security number, don’t automatically assume that you’re dealing with a scam. The funds, sent out to Americans to help stimulate the economy in the aftermath of COVID-19, have gone to many through direct transfer, but for those who this has not worked for, the government has decided to shift to sending out debit cards. This has led to further confusion, with some people, who had been expecting checks, throwing the legitimate cards away after assuming they are frauds. Several people a day have been reporting the cards to the state’ attorney general’s office.

The Visa card arrives in an envelope from Money Network Cardholder Services, with MetaBank on the back and has instructions to activate it by calling a phone number and providing a Social Security number. You can read more about this at

Police on Tuesday said the death of a man whose body was found Friday at a home in northwest Cedar Rapids is now being investigated as a homicide.

An autopsy determined 69-year-old Daniel J. Spangler died of a gunshot wound.

Spangler’s body was found on Friday when officers went to 508 B Ave. NW at 9:53 a.m. after a caller asked for a welfare check on the resident.