116 3rd St SE
Cedar Rapids, Iowa 52401
Home / Podcasts / Gazette Daily News
Gazette Daily News Podcast, January 13
Friday will be the gentle cold valley in the temperatures this week before things warm up again over the weekend. According to the National Weather Service it will start out mostly cloudy in the Cedar Rapids area before gradually becoming sunny, with a high near 30 degrees. A wind of 10 to 15 mph will gust as high as 20 mph. On Friday night it will be mostly cloudy, with a low of around 17 degrees. The wind will become calm as the night goes on.
After warning faculty and staff last month of likely changes to its 32-year-old Iowa City campus, Kirkwood Community College confirmed Thursday it’s moving most of its operations from that facility to its regional center in Coralville, and then selling the branch campus.
“The Kirkwood Regional Center at the University of Iowa meets our needs as it has plenty of space,” Kirkwood President Lori Sundberg said in a message to faculty and staff at the Cedar Rapids-based college about the changes coming later this year.
“Our research also indicates the site is a more accessible location for the community overall,” she said.
Following a campus study and community survey, Kirkwood has decided to move both credit and noncredit courses to the regional center by fall, according to Sundberg, who said Kirkwood also is exploring possibly expanding its partnership with the Iowa City Community School District at the district’s newly-acquired ACT campus facility.
A recent Kirkwood assessment of its assets found if nothing changed over the next 24 years, the institution would spend nearly $40 million maintaining the 97,094-square-foot Iowa City campus — which has a current classroom-use rate under 40 percent and saw a 75 percent enrollment slide from 2016 to 2021.
A Central City woman was arrested Wednesday after she was reportedly caught on surveillance footage lighting her own restaurant on fire. She made a fraudulent insurance claim two days later, according to a criminal complaint.
Heidi Renee Liegl, 43, is charged with first-degree arson and insurance fraud, both felonies. Liegl is the owner of the Stove House Restaurant in Central City.
The Linn County Sheriff’s Office responded to a fire at the restaurant on Saturday at about 11:30 a.m. The Central City Fire Department, Coggon Fire Department, Alburnett Fire Department, Center Point Ambulance Service and Marion Fire Department also responded, according to a news release from the Sheriff’s Office.
According to the criminal complaint, Liegl was going through financial difficulties and owed the property owners two months of rent. She had reportedly been served eviction notices the day before the fire.
Decreases in the number of violent crimes and weapon-related crimes reported in 2022 have Cedar Rapids police optimistic going into the new year.
There were 88 weapons-related crimes in 2022, which is down from 116 in 2021, and 188 in 2020, according to the Cedar Rapids Police Department’s annual crime statistics.
Shots-fired calls went down slightly, from 123 in 2021 to 120 in 2022, with the numbers decreasing more toward the end of the year.
“That significant decline leads me to be optimistic and hopeful that we can carry that trend,” Cedar Rapids Police Chief Wayne Jerman said.
Jerman said he continues to be concerned about the number of guns stolen from vehicles.
In 2022, 679 thefts were reported from vehicles, a 28 percent increase from the 530 thefts reported in 2021. The 2022 thefts included 58 guns.
Jerman said he doesn’t want to blame those who are victims of theft, but he said he wishes people wouldn’t leave firearms in their vehicles.