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, April 9.
Rain from Thursday should taper off mid Friday, only to return again on Saturday. According to the National Weather Service, there will be a 50 percent chance of rain Friday before 1 p.m. Then it will be mostly cloudy with a high near 60 degrees. A west wind of 10 to 15 mph could gust as high as 20 mph.
A fire that destroyed an administrative support office used by UnityPoint Health in Cedar Rapids will have “minimal impact” on the health system’s operations, officials said Thursday. Fire departments responded Wednesday to the blaze at the two-story building at 3851 River Ridge Dr. NE, near Glass Road and Edgewood Road NE. The automatic fire alarm went off at 6:07 p.m. and the crew found half of the top floor engulfed in flames, officials said.
The health system’s servers were not in the building. Officials emphasized no patient data or medical records were affected by the fire. The Cedar Rapids Fire Department indicates the building is a total loss, UnityPoint Health officials said.
No injuries were reported. Only two employees were in the building at the time of the fire, and were able to escape. As a lucky break, the number of employees working in the building is so low now partially due to the company adopting work from home policies as a result of the pandemic.
A Cedar Rapids man already convicted of involuntary manslaughter in the fatal stabbing of Chris Bagley is now charged with attempting to smuggle opioid medication into the Linn County Jail.
Drew Wagner, 34, who admitted last year to starting a fight in 2018 that led to Bagley being repeatedly stabbed to death by another, was charged Monday with introducing intoxicants or drugs into a correctional institution. Bagley’s death may have come as a result of his robbing a local drug dealer named Andrew Shaw, who also now is serving time in prison.
A criminal complaint states Wagner solicited another individual to mail him buprenorphine — a drug commonly used to treat opioid addiction and also used as a pain medication — at the jail.
Authorities examined a letter sent to Wagner and found a “sublingual film” attached underneath the postage stamp. The substance was analyzed at the Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation Lab and was identified as the opioid medication, the complaint states.
Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds said Thursday she has rejected a federal request to accept migrant children into the state, saying the need to find homes for them "is the president's problem."
Reynolds told WHO-AM radio that her priority is the health and safety of Iowans and that the state doesn't have facilities to house migrant children for the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
"This is not our problem," Reynolds said on the "Need to Know with Jeff Angelo" radio program. "This is the president's problem. He's the one that has opened the border and he needs to be responsible for this and he needs to stop it."
Iowa Department of Human Services Director Kelly Garcia notified the Biden administration March 31 that the state would not take unaccompanied minors.
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