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, Jan. 21.
It won’t exactly be a heatwave Friday, but at least the high will be above 10 degrees. According to a forecast from the National Weather Service it will be sunny with a high near 14 degrees in the Cedar Rapids area. Wind chill values will still drop as low as -25 degrees. On Friday night into Saturday morning there will be a chance for snow, with predicted accumulation of less than a half inch predicted.
Increasingly driven by fentanyl, opioid-related deaths continue to surge in Iowa and across the country at a “shocking” rate, Iowa Attorney General Tom Miller said on Thursday.
“The deaths that we’ve seen have just been heartbreaking,” Miller said during a news conference, which he called after seeing the latest national drug overdose statistics issued by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
The Iowa Public Health Department estimates that deaths in Iowa due to fentanyl, a synthetic opioid, rose from 31 percent of all overdoses in 2016 to 87 percent in 2021.
While there is pharmaceutical fentanyl for treating severe pain — 50 to 100 times more potent than morphine — the most recent cases of fentanyl-related harm, overdose and death in the United States are linked to illegally made fentanyl, according to the CDC.
The University of Iowa will regild the dome of the Old Capitol this summer after failure of gold leaf installed in 2003.
OPN Architects, of Iowa City, recommended regilding at a cost of $504,375, compared with putting on a gold-colored sheet metal roof, which the firm estimated to cost $681,914 and take another year because of supply chain delays for sheet metal.
The UI plans to put the project out to bid Feb. 8.
The Old Capitol Building, for which the cornerstone was laid on July 4, 1840, was to be the hub of state government after Iowa City was chosen as the state capital in 1839.The original dome was copper, but the UI paid $200 in 1920 to have 6,500 3-inch gold leaf pieces applied to the surface. Periodic regilding has happened ever since.
After years of funding delays, the Army Corps of Engineers announced plans Wednesday to spend over $829 million on modernizing locks and dams on the Upper Mississippi River, including an infamous bottleneck north of St. Louis that farmers say is crucial to their ability to sell grain overseas.
The announcement, which comes after Congress passed the bipartisan $1.2 trillion Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, represents the single largest investment to Mississippi River locks and dams since their original construction in the 1930s, according to the Waterways Council.
Iowa and Illinois lawmakers say the funding will finally hasten long-delayed replacement of river locks that are well beyond their 50-year design life and cannot accommodate modern tows. Most of America’s locks and dams were built in the 1920s and 1930s.
Support for this podcast provided by New Pioneer Food Co-op. Celebrating 50 years as Eastern Iowa’s source for locally and responsibly sourced groceries with stores in Iowa City, Coralville and Cedar Rapids; and online through Co-op Cart at newpi.coop.