Gazette Daily News Podcast, October 29

Courtney Arnold, executive assistant in the court administration office, demonstrates the relatively new digital tempera
Courtney Arnold, executive assistant in the court administration office, demonstrates the relatively new digital temperature reader that is set up Wednesday at the entrance of the Linn County Courthouse in Cedar Rapids. (Jim Slosiarek/The Gazette)

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Thursday looks to continue our pleasant, if unseasonably chilly, weather trend. According to the National Weather Service, the day should start cloudy before gradually becoming sunny, with a high near 44 degrees. North wind of 10-15 could gust to up 25 mph, so a warm hat and light jacket might be smart to bring along. Thursday night it will drop below freezing, hitting 28 degrees, but the wind will also settle down to 5 mph.

Iowa’s negative COVID-19 trends continued Wednesday. According to the Iowa Covid-19 dashboard, 606 people were hospitalized with the novel coronavirus as of Wednesday evening, another record high. Iowa also reported 1,891 new cases in the 24-hour period ending at 11 a.m. Wednesday, bringing the state’s total of known infections to 119,526 and its seven-day average to 1,413 — another record. The state also reported 22 deaths in 17 counties Wednesday, bringing Iowa’s death toll to 1,680.

The Stoney Point YMCA in Cedar Rapids is for sale as the YMCA of the Cedar Rapids Metro Area struggles with financial challenges brought on by the coronavirus pandemic.

The Stoney Point Y, 300 Stoney Point Rd. SW, has never had a membership base able to sustain a positive bottom line, said Bob Carlson, president and chief executive officer of the YMCA.

It was listed for sale with Skogman Realty on Friday and will continue to offer services, including child care, for the foreseeable future. There are three other YMCA locations in the Linn County area: Helen G. Nassif, Marion and the Marion Independent Fitness Center.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency has approved more than $28 million in derecho relief to Iowans, the agency said Wednesday. More than $19 million of that is via the U.S. Small Business Administration’s low-interest loan program for businesses’ property damage or economic injury or a homeowner’s property damage.

The announcement comes as the deadline to apply for FEMA Individual Assistance and SBA property damage loans looms Monday.

Iowa Sen. Chuck Grassley still expects Congress to approve another round of pandemic relief, but when that happens could depend on the outcome of the 2020 election.

“I think if Trump wins, Americans are going to get COVID-19 relief sooner because it’ll come before the end of this Congress,” he told reporters Wednesday.

If Democrats win control of the Senate, the Finance Committee chairman expects pandemic relief might not come until after Jan. 3, when a new Congress convenes.