116 3rd St SE
Cedar Rapids, Iowa 52401
The great weather continues! According to the National Weather Service it will be mostly sunny with a high near 78 degrees in the Cedar Rapids area on Tuesday. On Tuesday night it will be mostly clear, with a low of around 58 degrees.
Coe College on Monday unveiled a new dean of diversity, equity and inclusion following controversy last fall.
In addition to serving as the private Cedar Rapids college’s lead diversity officer, Donald Jaamal will function as its Title IX coordinator — a dual role making him part of Coe’s “senior staff,” a stipulation Coe community members included among their demands issued in November.
Jaamal — the fourth diversity officer in Coe history, after it established an Office of Diversity and Inclusion in 2015 — was hired following an extensive national search, according to a Coe news release Monday. He started work Aug. 8.
Coe — last fall and in the months since — has faced questions and criticism over its handling of diversity, equity and inclusion issues after former trustee Darryl Banks resigned over a closed-door dispute among board members leading up to their selection of new Coe President David Hayes.
Banks, a Coe alum who spent more than 40 years on the board, said he raised diversity-related concerns with the presidential search but that a fellow trustee called him a liar. Banks sought a reprimand, apology and a retraction, but never got them.
The historic Guaranty Bank building and Old World Theater property is now listed for sale as efforts to transform the buildings into two hotels and restaurants as a “cornerstone” project in the heart of downtown Cedar Rapids have faltered, the potential developer said Monday.
“That one specifically does not appear to be on the horizon,” Mike Whalen, president and chief executive officer of the Heart of America Group, said of his proposal that called for an approximately $50 million investment to restore the buildings on most of the block at Third Street and Third Avenue SE.
“ … In the end, there was maybe a difference of opinion with the owner as to the value of the property that could not be resolved.”
GLD Commercial lists the selling price at $3.1 million for the property, which was built in 1895.
Adam Gibbs, vice president of GLD, said the property has been marketed for about 90 days locally and regionally, and there is a “fair amount of interested parties” so far considering some kind of historic tax credit redevelopment.
The Linn County Correctional Center has adjusted its agreement for housing federal inmates in an effort to address deputy complaints and resignations about overtime work at the jail.
Linn County Sheriff Brian Gardner said that because the jail has been short staffed, deputies have been required to work overtime to meet the minimum number of corrections officers required for each shift. The number of officers needed each day depends on the number of inmates.
“They have been complaining about the overtime that they’ve been required to work. In fact, we’ve lost some deputies, very good deputies, to other agencies because of the amount of overtime that we’re requiring them to work,” Gardner said.
One cause for the overtime has been requirements for the federal inmates held there, which usually constitute one-fourth to one-third of the jail’s total population.
As part of the jail’s contract with the U.S. Marshals Service and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, two deputies are required to accompany federal inmates when they leave the jail for things like a doctor’s appointment or to go to the hospital.
To address the problem, Gardner reached a new agreement with the U.S. Marshals and ICE. Federal agencies will be required to transport their detainees to and from scheduled medical appointments. They also will take over the responsibility of guarding federal detainees within 10 hours of them being admitted to a hospital.