116 3rd St SE
Cedar Rapids, Iowa 52401
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This is Stephen Schmidt from the Gazette digital news desk and I’m here with your update for Friday, July 9.
The forecast calls for likely rain Friday. Now the last time I said rain was likely was Wednesday, and we didn’t really get any rain. But I’ll have you know the chance for rain is a whole 10 percent higher this time.
According to the National Weather Service showers and thunderstorms are likely, mainly after 1 p.m. The high temperature will be a pleasant 76 degrees. The skies will be cloudy. There is a chance for rain also listed for Friday night into Saturday morning. The chance for rain all day is around 70 percent.
Much of the state could still use a lot more rain. While recent rains appear to have brought much-needed relief to some parched areas of Iowa, overall conditions continue to deteriorate, according to the latest U.S. Drought Monitor released Thursday.
Iowa's most-recent map shows 83 percent of the state in some form of dryness or drought, with slightly more than a third of Iowa experiencing severe drought — mostly in the state’s northwest and north-central counties.
The driest conditions now cover all or parts of 45 counties with two-thirds of the state rated in severe or moderate drought and 22 counties reporting normal conditions.
How far do you think $72 million would go in Linn County? Under the American Rescue plan, the nationwide $1.9 trillion pandemic relief plan passed in March by Congress, Cedar Rapids will receive over $28 million and Linn County will receive $44 million. They’re received half the money so far and the other half will arrive next year.
Thursday, city and county officials at a news conference outlined potential uses for the infusion of funding, including providing more housing, developing the workforce, aiding flood protection and creating a new westside library — as well as making up for government revenue lost in the COVID-19 pandemic.
City officials said they would also turn to the public for suggestions of how to spend the money. Eligible spending for the federal aid, according to the bill, falls into three general categories: response to the health emergency or its economic impacts; lost government revenue; and investments in water, sewer or broadband.
Cedar Rapids police have a new tool to help them stem the gun violence that has plagued the community for the past decade.
That tool is the National Integrated Ballistic Information Network — or NIBIN for short. It’s a federal system that allows investigators to compare ballistic evidence against a national database of spent shell casings that have been collected from crime scenes across the country.
The Cedar Rapids Police Department is the third municipal agency in Iowa to acquire its own system — Des Moines was first, followed by Davenport — joining the ranks of roughly 250 local-level agencies across the country. The Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation crime lab also has one of its own.
Three office buildings formerly occupied by Transamerica on Edgewood Road NE, just south of Highway 100, will be demolished, contractor D.W. Zinser told The Gazette Thursday.
David Zinser, D.W. Zinser president, said interior work on the demolition already has begun.
Exterior demolition is likely to begin July 19, Zinser said, and be complete near Halloween.
“It will be quite the spectacle,” Zinser said.
The Iowa Ideas 2021 virtual conference will be here before you know it, and we would like you to be our guest on the house. The Gazette is providing free access to this two-day gathering with more than 50 sessions- filled with thought-provoking local, and national speakers-- all ready to engage you on a variety of important and timely Iowa-issues. Join us October 14th and 15th for this can’t miss, idea-exchange experience. Learn more and register for the event at iowaideas.com