116 3rd St SE
Cedar Rapids, Iowa 52401
Welcome to the weekend!
This is Stephen Schmidt from the Gazette digital news desk and I’m here with your update for Saturday, December 3 and Sunday, December 4.
Saturday will feature Friday’s wind without Friday’s warmth. According to the National Weather Service there will be a high near 27 degrees in the Cedar Rapids area on Saturday, with wind chill values as low as -5. It will be blustery to begin the day, with winds of 15 to 20 mph gusting as high as 30 mph. The wind should calm the second half of Saturday, with a low of around 19 degrees.
Sunday will be calmer and warmer. It is predicted to be sunny with a high near 42 degrees.
As expected, Iowa’s Democratic Party is on track to lose the first-in-the-nation presidential caucus status it has held for half a century.
In a major realignment meant to give voice in the party to more people of color, the Democratic National Committee’s Rules and Bylaws Committee voted Friday on a proposed calendar for early presidential nominating contests that will remove Iowa as an early state in the party’s nominating calendar.
The states making up the new early window for 2024, holding Democratic primaries before the first Tuesday in March, would consist of South Carolina, New Hampshire, Nevada, Georgia and Michigan. The proposal will need to be approved by the full Democratic National Committee, but it is expected to easily pass.
Republicans, on the other hand, already have agreed to a nominating calendar that keeps Iowa’s first-in-the-nation status for GOP presidential candidates.
If all happens as expected, things could get awkward for Iowa Democrats. In accordance with tradition state law requires both parties in Iowa to hold their caucuses before anyone else in the nation. However, if Iowa still adheres to that with a full caucus, they could be penalized by the national party, including losing half or all of its delegates.
A 70-year-old Iowa City man was sentenced to 50 years in prison Friday after entering a guilty plea for a charge that he fatally stabbed his wife in 2019.
Roy Carl Browning Jr., 70, of Iowa City, originally charged with first-degree murder, pleaded guilty to second-degree murder in October. He was charged in the death of JoEllen Browning, 65, a University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics budget executive. Roy Browning entered an Alford plea to the charge, in which a defendant doesn’t admit guilt but admits the prosecution has enough evidence for a likely conviction.
He protested his innocence during the sentencing Friday, despite the plea. Investigators believe he stabbed his wife to prevent her from learning about risky loans, falsified accounting records, and that he had depleted one of her savings accounts.
A 19-year-old Cedar Rapids man pleaded Friday to lesser charges in the 2021 fatal shooting of a 15-year-old Illinois girl during a gun sale that turned into a “tussle” over money and the gun.
Marshawn Rome Jackson, 19, originally charged with first-degree murder, pleaded to voluntary manslaughter, intimidation with a dangerous weapon, dominion/control of a firearm by a felon and obstructing prosecution.
Jackson, during the plea hearing, admitted to intentionally shooting Tyliyah Whitis, of Peoria, Ill., during a gun sale July 21, 2021, First Assistant Linn County Attorney Monica Slaughter said after the hearing.
Jackson and Whitis, who was in Cedar Rapids visiting her sister, knew each other and had hung out in the past, Slaughter said.
Jackson said Whitis wanted to buy a gun from him and wanted to hold it, but Jackson wanted to see the money first. A tussle over the gun began, and Jackson became angry and started getting out of the car. Whitis started accelerating, and Jackson fired the gun, hitting her in the back.