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Gazette Daily News Podcast, January 12
It will be colder and cloudier on Thursday. According to the National Weather Service it will be cloudy in the Cedar Rapids area with a high near 33 degrees. A wind of 15 mph will gust as high as 30 mph. On Thursday night it will be mostly cloudy, with a low of around 20 degrees. The wind will lessen slightly as the night goes on.
Iowa House Republicans introduced a bill Wednesday similar to Florida's controversial “Don't Say Gay Bill.”
The measure, House File 8, says public school teachers may not instruct on sexual orientation or gender identity in kindergarten through third grade. It also requires school boards to provide age-appropriate and research-based instruction in human growth and development.
A separate bill, House File 9, also introduced Wednesday, would prohibit schools from affirming or recognizing a student’s preferred gender identity in school without written consent from their parents.
Republicans said the bill keeps parents informed and ensures that school employees can’t hide information about a student’s requested gender transition or identity from the child’s parents.
Critics of the bill argued that the changes would make schools more hostile environments for LGBTQ students and risk forcing teachers to "out" students to potentially unsupportive or abusive family members.
Iowa Republican U.S. Sen. Chuck Grassley tweeted Wednesday that surgery was successful in repairing a fracture in his hip and that he was on his way to a full recovery a day after his office announced the injury.
His office did not explain how the 89-year-old senator injured his hip, the extent of the surgery or when he will return to work. A spokesman said his office would provide additional information as it becomes available.
One person was killed in a crash Wednesday afternoon at the intersection of Highway 100 and East Post Road in Marion.
The Marion Police and Fire Departments, as well as Area Ambulance, responded to the intersection at 2:16 p.m. Wednesday. A semi tractor-trailer had been heading west on Highway 100 when it struck a passenger car, broadside, that was turning eastbound onto Highway 100 from the southbound turn lane of East Post Road, according to a news release from the Marion Police Department.
The driver of the passenger car died at the scene. The driver of the semi, Zachary Schemming, of Racine, Wis., was cited for failure to obey a traffic control device.
The name of the deceased has not been released pending notification of family.
The Iowa Attorney General’s Office is suing C6-Zero and its owner to force action on an emergency order to clean up a Marengo explosion site.
“The suit seeks to prevent imminent threat to public health and the environment arising from a devastating explosion and fire at the C6-Zero facility on Dec. 8, 2022,” Attorney General Brenna Bird’s office said in a prepared statement Wednesday.
The Marengo plant, which opened in 2020 and had about 30 employees, was in a pilot phase when liquid solvent in a tank exploded Dec. 8 and started a fire. Between 10 and 15 people were treated for injuries at the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics, and neighbors living near the facility were briefly evacuated.