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 Thursday, April 1.
No April fooling. If you and your plants made it through Wednesday's cold unscathed that is as bad as it's going to get this week, and some lovely weather is on the way.
That said, the temperature isn't going to rise all at once, so it's still going to be chilly one more day. According to the National Weather Service, the Cedar Rapids area should see a high of 44 degrees with sunny skies. The low is expected to be 27 degrees Thursday night. Expect temperatures almost 20 degrees warmer on Friday and even more than 30 degrees warmer by the weekend.
Davenport's police chief on Wednesday confirmed what many suspected — the remains discovered last week near DeWitt are those of Breasia Terrell, the 10-year-old Davenport girl missing since last July.
An autopsy confirmed the identification, Davenport Police Chief Paul Sikorski said at a news conference at the police station. Breasia's mother, Aishia Lankford of Davenport, said in a statement, issued through the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children, that 'words cannot describe the heartache and emptiness that we feel.'
Lankford said Thursday that while the search for Breasia is over, the family is committed to searching for answers about her death.
The lone person of interest in Breasia's disappearance is being held in the Clinton County Jail.
Henry Earl Dinkins, 48, was arrested July 10 and later charged with three unrelated counts of violating the sex-offender registry.
Breasia spent the night with her brother at Dinkins' home during the time period she disappeared. Dinkins is the boy's father.
In just a few days, over 1.2 million Iowans who have not already started or finished getting a COVID-19 vaccination will become eligible.
The state and its local partners are ready, Gov. Kim Reynolds said Wednesday.
On March 17, the governor announced the state's plan to open vaccine eligibility to all Iowans who are old enough starting April 5. On Wednesday, Reynolds said that plan remains on track and that her administration, county public health departments, medical providers, pharmacies and other entities involved in distributing the vaccines are prepared to handle what surely will be a surge in Iowans wanting to make appointments. The state previously designated the vaccine for populations most at risk of contracting the disease or suffering the worst symptoms if they became ill with it.
Nearly five months after the election, Democrat Rita Hart withdrew her contest Wednesday asking Congress to investigate Republican U.S. Rep. Mariannette Miller-Meeks' 6 vote win of Southeast Iowa's 2nd Congressional District. Hart was contesting that 22 votes were not counted due to election errors, and if they were validated she would have narrowly won.
Hart said she withdrew her challenge after speaking with other Democrats in the midst of a Republican pressure campaign decrying her congressional challenge as a power grab. The decision came likely as a combination of that pressure along with a lack of support from national Democrats who would prefer keeping it as a Democratic leaning seat they can win back in less than two years over the political price of overturning an election, even if doing so would be justifiable.
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