Gazette Daily News Briefing, May 29 and May 30

This is Stephen Schmidt from the Gazette digital news desk and I’m here with your update for the last weekend in May.

Your weekend weather is going to be both nice and uneventful. According to the National Weather Service, Saturday in the Cedar Rapids area will be sunny with a high near 71 degrees. Saturday evening will be mostly clear, with a low of around 48 degrees.

Likewise, Sunday will be sunny, with a high near 73 degrees. Sunday night will be mostly cloudy, with a low of 58 degrees.

Derek Chauvin was taken into custody and charged with third-degree murder and manslaughter Friday. Chauvin, up until the beginning of this week, had been a veteran of the Minneapolis Police Department, when he was recorded on video placing his knee on the neck of George Floyd for eight and a half minutes during an arrest. Floyd, a black man, died soon afterward, and prosecutors now contend that this was a direct result of Chauvin’s actions. Chauvin and three other officers involved in the arrest had already been fired previously in the week.

The disturbing nature of the video, along with past violence by the police against black men, led to a week of protests in Minneapolis that sometimes became violent, leading to fires and other property damage. This has spread to national protests, including contentious protests in Des Moines Friday night, as the three other officers currently remain uncharged. Protests in Cedar Rapids and Iowa City are scheduled for this weekend.

Here is where we stand with the COVID-19 coronavirus at the end of the working week:

  • Iowa reached 527 deaths from the virus on Friday, finishing another week with double digit deaths every day. However, hospitalizations appear to be plateauing at the moment in the state.
  • After a series of reopenings in Iowa, many things are set to reopen in the state on Monday with added social distancing restrictions. This includes casinos, arcades, gaming areas, and most playgrounds. Bars were allowed to reopen with restrictions for the first time Thursday. The Iowa legislature is set to resume next week as well. Hospitals in Cedar Rapids announced that surgeries requiring overnight stays will resume.
  • A series of recent mass outbreaks at meat processing plants caused a disruption in the slaughtering of pigs, and industry numbers indicate this has led to a backup of 600,000 pigs in Iowa. Although processing has resumed, the hitch in the process is leading pig farmers to euthanize pigs to make space, as they say they cannot find enough demand through other channels.

This briefing is sponsored in part by Corridor Careers.  Are you looking for a job? CorridorCareers.com is a resource to local job seekers where they can get job tips, sign up for local job alerts, build a resume and more. Check it out at CorridorCareers.com.

Have a good weekend, everyone. Stay safe out there.