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 15.
It’s going to be a little warmer Thursday. And by a little warmer, I mean two degrees warmer. But warmer has to start somewhere.
According to the National Weather Service the high will be 51 degrees in the Cedar Rapids area. The wind will also continue calming down compared to earlier in the week, settling at 10 mph.
A COVID-19 vaccine clinic for Johnson County residents will be held Saturday in Iowa City to distribute 1,000 doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech shot.
Hy-Vee announced it is hosting the clinic for county residents ages 16 and older. COVID-19 shots will be administered from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. inside the former North Dodge Hy-Vee, 1201 N. Dodge St. in Iowa City. A second-dose clinic will be May 8 at the same location. To schedule an appointment for Saturday visit the Hy-Vee website. Johnson County residents attending Saturday’s clinic should bring their insurance card and a photo ID.
With health officials concerned that a nationwide pause on using the one-shot Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine might cause the public to have second thoughts on being inoculated with other brands, Gov. Kim Reynolds sought Wednesday to personally endorse the Johnson and Johnson vaccine in particular and getting vaccinated in general.
Reynolds and interim Iowa Department of Public Health Director Kelly Garcia both received the Johnson & Johnson vaccine in early March. Both said Wednesday that after receiving the shot they had mild side effects that have been common with all three vaccines, like a mild headache and soreness — but nothing more.
“I’m glad that I did have the opportunity to have the (Johnson & Johnson) vaccine. I would do it again,” Reynolds said. “Vaccination is the best defense against the virus, and as you’ve heard the reward far outweighs the risk.”
Less than three weeks before the Legislature is scheduled to adjourn, lawmakers breathed new life into an attempt to change Iowa’s four-decade-old law that requires nickel deposits on pop and beer cans.
Under the current bottle bill, when a consumer returns a container, the retailer returns the nickel deposit to them. When distributors collect the containers from retailers and redemption centers, they pay a nickel plus a 1-cent handling fee.
If enacted, HF 814 would allow retailers to choose not to accept containers if they have a contract with a redemption center, for example, that will accept the cans and bottles. However, that arrangement is only possible if the retailer is in a county of more than 30,000 people and within 10 miles of a redemption center or in a county of fewer than 30,000 and within 15 miles of a redemption center.
Lawmakers conceded Wednesday that changing the law in the time left is unrealistic, but they are giving it a try anyway.
Boaters, paddlers and spectators may eventually enjoy an ambitious slate of recreational amenities in the Cedar River through the 5-in-1 Dam below Interstate 380.
The city of Cedar Rapids is exploring a $14.6 million project to modify the dam to offer white-water and flat-water features in separate channels, with complementary amenities such as zip lining and an island for spectators. As the city re-imagines what its relationship with the Cedar River could be, and makes it a hub for water-based recreation, officials are envisioning the potential to attract visitors and spur development.
The consultants that the city has contracted to investigate projects on the river suggested in its report that the city might be able to pull visitors from the 29 million person market area that includes Chicago and Minneapolis. But this will require more planning, a clear strategy and additional help from the private sector. The report said that those taking a river trip desire a full experience-- including rapids, waves, eddies, scenic views, peaceful floating, conversations with friends, picnics and nature watching.
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