Gazette Daily News Podcast, September 26 and 27 Weekend Edition

Dean and Katie Colony said they've made some adjustments at their North Liberty farm and pumpkin patch for a safe Hallow
Dean and Katie Colony said they've made some adjustments at their North Liberty farm and pumpkin patch for a safe Halloween amid a pandemic. (Andy Abeyta/The Gazette)

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Your weekend forecast is a mix of what we’ve had this past week, and the weather we will have in the week to come. According to the National Weather Service, there should be a high of 85 degrees in the Cedar Rapids area, with mostly sunny skies and breezy wind on Saturday. On Saturday night it will become mostly cloudy, with a low around 61. On Sunday it will be cloudy and noticeably cooler, with a high temperature near 71 degrees. There also will be a chance of rain both Sunday and Sunday night. Next week it is predicted to be even cooler.

Bars in Johnson and Story counties will have been closed for more than five weeks if they are allowed to reopen when an extended emergency health proclamation issued Friday by Gov. Kim Reynolds expires next week.

The latest order, a response to the coronavirus pandemic, is set to go until 11:59 p.m. Oct. 4.

Reynolds began a series of bar closure orders Aug. 27, initially affecting bars in six counties where new COVID-19 cases were surging.

But while she rescinded her order early for bars in four counties — Black Hawk, Dallas, Linn and Polk — the governor has continued to make bars in the communities around the University of Iowa and Iowa State University stay closed.

Four female members of the Hawkeye swimming and diving team Friday filed a Title IX complaint in U.S. District Court challenging the University of Iowa’s announcement last month that it’s cutting their program — along with three men’s sports — at the end of this academic year. Administrators have said that the sports were cut due to budget deficits caused by the COVID-19 pandemic disrupting normal operations.

The swimmers filing the federal complaint — Sage Ohlensehlen, Christian Kaufman, Alexa Puccini and Kelsey Drake — are asking for an immediate and permanent reinstatement of their sport, noting time is of the essence as some athletes have left or are looking to leave UI. The Title IX complaint contends the UI has failed to comply with three aspects of Title IX, including the mandate to provide female athletes with athletic opportunities at a rate “substantially proportionate” to the campus’ undergraduate full-time enrollment.

Lawmakers approved emergency authority Friday allowing election officials to get a leg up in coping with an expected crush of absentee ballots for the Nov. 3 election.

Expecting many more voters than usual to cast ballots absentee rather than go in-person to the polls during the COVID-19 pandemic, the Legislative Council granted Republican Iowa Secretary of State Paul Pate the authority to establish a procedure for election officials around the state to begin preparing absentee ballots for counting early.

Under the emergency directive, county auditors will be able to mail absentee ballots to residents of health and long-term care facilities who request them; allow all identification cards that have expired in 2020 to be considered current and valid for in-person absentee balloting and at Election Day polling places; and to allow absentee ballots to be opened — but not counted — during the weekend before the Nov. 3 election.

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